Hale responds to Smoot, not fighting budget cut

Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale (WBRC video)
Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale (WBRC video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale responded to Commissioner Sheila Smoot Tuesday and said he will not fight a $10 million cut to his 2010 budget.

Hale told FOX6 News he would not fight the commission's decision to cut his fiscal 2010 budget by $10 million, but added he would keep his "options open."  Hale said those options could include shutting down the Bessemer jail, which would force inmates to crowd into the Birmingham jail, and reducing his staff through attrition and unfilled vacancies.

Hale added he would pull deputies from security in the courthouses if necessary to keep deputies on the street.

Hale also responded to Commissioner Smoot, who earlier Tuesday during the county's commission meeting said Hale needed to "stop whining" and "be a team player." Hale said his first priority is public safety.

"I don't think being an advocate for the public is being a whiner."