More Backroom Deals and Coverup Corruption in Beaufort County
The jail disaster has a lot of the fingerprints of the fake Corona Virus. That is those commissioners along with the Sheriff who wanted a new jail seem to be using every opportunity to punish Beaufort County.
What was actually a less than $200,000 dollar job to repair the sliding guides and control system on jail doors is now costing more than 2 million dollars. All off budget. This funding is in a capital budget ordinance. That way the cost is not in the Sheriffs budget.
Commissioners were never told about how serious these repairs could be. We got a lot of very unclear complaints. I believe this was held by those in authority with the jail as a card up their sleeve so they could play on the commissioners whenever they liked.
That Card was played during January of 2019, more than one year ago. Stan Deatherage and I discovered that half of the jail had been shut down with prisoners transferred to other jails, with no notice to the Board of Commissioners. We approached Chairman Jerry Evans about a special called meeting to resolve the matter. We were denied. Stan and I pieced together that Evans along with the Manager and the Sheriff had made the decision by themselves. We also then learned the remainder of the jail could be shut down at any time.. Forty prisoners out of county, along with transportation costs, us about $3000 per day. This is a big deal. In my book making the decision in the back room without informing the Board is an even bigger deal.
Rather than do the common sense thing and repair the guides, and replace the control system at a cost of about $200,000 the project ballooned to about one million dollars and is now approaching 2.5 million.
We were told several times that, "If we had only built a new $25,000,000 jail this would not have happened". This was said by those who wanted a new jail. But of course, if a frog had wings he would not bump his butt. Had they fixed the doors when they should have we would not have the mess we now have.
One thing the Corona Virus did was prove my point that the jail population could be reduced. The Virus filled up other jails and caused them to stop taking outside prisoners. So our jail population was reduced to less than 45 prisoners. Funny how problems can suddenly be solved when the politics gets out of it.
A new situation developed. There was no available place to put prisoners while the final work is being done on the jail repairs.
Suddenly Evans found the courage to call a special called meeting for Monday June 8. The Board was given no background information but told that arrangements had been made for us to house prisoners in a vacant jail pod in Pitt county. Get that now. The deal had already been cut before the meeting. All the negotiating had been done and all we had to do was approve the contract we were told. The cost would be at a minimum 75 hundred dollars per day. Thus, they need another $530,000 to be appropriated.
There was a lot of other talk about Judge Sermons threatening us. Questions were asked about background and who negotiated the contract. Answers were not given. Just approve the contract so we can all go home. Guess what, the contract was approved. Yet another single supplier contract.
The contract was signed by the Sheriff not the commissioners. As nearly as I can tell the Sheriff negotiated the contract. We were never told how Judge Sermons fit into the picture, whether he injected himself or whether he was invited and by whom. Remember, the current jail, met the state standards and will do so after the doors are fixed.
Speaking as a Commissioner who is responsible for the spending of tax money in Beaufort County, I am outraged. I have never been treated this way before. This is an example of the back room dealings that I have complained about for the past five years. The public deserves better than this.
This $200,000 job is probably going to cost more than 2.5 million dollars. All of the hidden costs are in the capital ordinance.
There is an election this fall. The taxpayers of Beaufort County need a new deal. John Rebholz, Stan and I voted against the spending. But, this meeting was not called without the liberals knowing they had 4 votes. I believe Rebholz voted against the spending in a vote swap with Frankie Waters. They have been playing this game to make Rebholz look good for the last three months.
Rebholz is a yellow sheet Republican, if elected he will join with Frankie Waters and the two Democrats (Langley and Booth) to put Frankie in as Chairman. Nothing will change if that happens. We will continue to waste five million dollars each year.
The way to solve this corruption is to vote for Tandy Dunn or Randy Walker or Hood Richardson. Consider pairing your vote with another conservative voter, especially one who would otherwise not vote. Lower your taxes and drain the Beaufort County Swamp.
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