The topic of four new patrol cars for the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department was not on the agenda at the monthly commissioner’s meeting held Thursday evening, but the topic did come up when a county resident asked the commissioner, "What about these patrol cars?"
Commissioner Winters said, "We are working through that situation." Winters said at the meeting that he has always worked to provide the Sheriff with funding for purchases and that he really hates that this situation has come about. Winters went on to say, "This really returns to the question – Can the Sheriff obligate the county for purchases? – that he can not do."
Winters said that he has had a reasonably good working relationship with Sheriff John Everett over the past 3 years and that there has been very little conflict. Winters told AM 1180 that he did not authorize the purchase of the patrol cars which were delivered to Chattooga County at the request of Sheriff John Everett by Jackie Jones Dodge. The sheriff maintains that he had the commissioner’s approval to do a lease-purchase on the vehicles. Winters says that no financial arrangements were made to pay for the cars and that the cars were not authorized by the county government.
Jason Espy with The Summerville News said that the sheriff was quoted in Thursday’s paper as saying that he did not know what his budget was. Commissioner Winters replied that each constitutional officer (sheriff, probate judge, tax commissioner etc.) is provided with monthly figures as to where their office is financially. Winters said that these statements are hand delivered each month and that if the sheriff needs a statement of where the sheriff’s budget stands he would be happy to provide that information.