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Should there be more oversight of sheriffs in Alabama?

Published: Aug. 22, 2019 at 10:53 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With several Alabama sheriffs making headlines for alleged corrupt behavior, we asked, should there be more oversight of Alabama Sheriffs?

“There’s a good bit of oversight. Checks and balances within the Sheriffs office. You have the Alabama state auditors, the department of public examiners. You have the attorney generals office. You have your county commission,” said Retired Sheriff of Tuscaloosa County,Ted Sexton.

Sexton explained sheriffs get most of their money from the county commission.

“They keep up with the dollars,” said Sexton.

It is a complex job that requires the elected person to oversee many operations.

“The sheriff has three responsibilities, mainly the courts, operation of jails, and law enforcement. Your authority is broad and wide,” said Sexton.

Several Alabama sheriffs have been called out or indicted for questionable behavior, including two sheriffs in Morgan County- for using hundreds of thousands of dollars meant to buy food for inmates, for personal use.

The same thing happened in Etowah county. The sheriff there spent food fund money on a beach house.

In Limestone County, the sheriff was arrested on theft and ethics charges.

“I think unfortunately we’ve seen the questions of unethical conduct or the potential unethical conduct at all levels of government,” said Sexton.

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