There is most likely a logical
explanation for why the missing parts list that will be
discussed by commissioner’s court this week has an abundance
of county property that is supposedly unaccounted for.
In the past, County Auditor Ed Sturdivant
said the process of removing missing items from the county’s
list is simply that ... a cleanup of items that were not
reported when thrown in the trash or sold through public
auction. A couple of items, say a broken printer or obsolete
equipment sold at auction would be understandable.
However, when the pending list came out
last week, several sets of eyebrows were raised and
naturally several sets of the pending list were sent to the
newspaper with the overriding question of “how in the world
can Milton Wright (aka the Sheriff) lose so many items,
including four vehicles?”
Yep, four of the items are vehicles and
with the sheriff always wanting more cars it is hard to
believe these have been misplaced (?). I mean how in the
heck do you misplace three full-size Crown Victoria’s
complete with police packages installed? Two of these were
listed as 2002 and the other a 2005. The other vehicles
listed are a 2001 Dodge RAM and a 2004 Ford Expedition.
And guess what every item on the missing
list says as to why these items have not been accounted for?
You just aren’t going to believe this: “Unable to dedicate
time to locate these assets.”
So, there are four full size missing
automobiles, 3 printers, a copier, a projector, a security
camera and security viewing station and about a dozen items
listed that must be support parts for other pieces of
equipment no longer utilized at the sheriff’s office. But it
gets better. There are also 20 computers, both laptop and
desk models; 34 handheld portable radios; five digital
cameras, one pager and 8 Tasers.
You got it — there are eight little
gizmos out there somewhere that provides a shock to the
recipient. Let’s just “play like” all of these items, with
the exception of one or two, were obsolete and destroyed or
were possibly sold at the county auction as is most likely
the case with some of the computers.
Maybe some of the items were leased and
returned without proper documenting paperwork—that is one of
the explanations Sturdivant mentioned when this issue came
up sometime last year. But what if one of the Tasers was
left on a bench outside the courthouse or one of the
handheld radios was dropped out of a county vehicle for one
reason or another. There could be a fine upstanding citizen
that found these gadgets and now has the ability to listen
to police radio traffic or if they are one of LeaAnne’s
stupid criminals, they could even talk to the cops. And,
what about the Taser falling into hands that wants to dip
into the local convenience store cash register?
At any rate, no matter what the excuse is
for the items being on the scratch it off the record list,
it seems that someone should be held accountable for keeping
tabs on any county equipment—especially items that are
unique to law enforcement.
I still can’t fathom how in the world anyone can lose
four full size vehicles. For heaven’s sake ... is that
ridiculous or what?