An Alabama Sheriff was caught taking $750,000 from the funds intended to feed inmates at his prison is under fire for purchasing a beach house that cost just slightly less than what he stole.
Over a 3 year period, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin essentially stole $750,000 of “compensation” from “food provisions” for the inmates he was supposed to be taking care of, reported AL.com.
Entrekin didn’t even deny taking it, even though it was “allocated by federal, state and municipal governments to feed inmates in the Etowah County Jail.”
Entrekin, like other Alabama sheriffs, believes he can use an archaic law allowing him to keep “excess inmate-feeding funds” for himself. Another was to say it is that he believes he can short his prisoners on food and keep the tax payer money sent to him to use for prisoners. Some counties, like Jefferson and Montgomery, require the excess money to be given to the county government rather than allowing the sheriff to take it.
Alabama Ethics Commission documents show Entrekin made “more than $250,000 in each of the past 3 years via the inmate-feeding funds.”
Entrekin says he did the right thing, because he believes the law requires him to take the money.
“In regards to feeding of inmates, we utilize a registered dietitian to ensure adequate meals are provided daily,” Entrekin told AL.com in an email. “As you should be aware, Alabama law is clear as to my personal financial responsibilities in the feeding of inmates. Regardless of one’s opinion of this statute, until the legislature acts otherwise, the Sheriff must follow the current law.”
Despite the sheriff’s claims, inmates have complained of going without meals, reported AL.com.
Entrekin’s annual salary is $93,178.80, but Entrekin was able to purchase a four-bedroom beach house for $740,000. That is of course in addition to his house in Orange Beach worth around $200,000
Entrekin has competition for the sheriff position this year. Rainbow City Police Chief Jonathon Horton is running against the current sheriff, and has has pledged not to pocket any excess money from the inmate-feeding funds.
“I believe the funds belong to the taxpayers and any excess funds should go toward things that benefit the taxpayer,” Horton told AL.com. “There’s been a tremendous amount of money left over that shouldn’t be used as a bonus check.”