A shocking piece by The Week says an Alabama Sheriff, a Republican, personally pocketed $1.5 million meant to feed immigration detainees. Etowah County has a contract with the federal government(DHE-ICE) to house immigration detainees as they await adjudication of their immigration cases. As a result of this contract with the federal government, Etowah County receives federal funds from DHS-ICE to feed the county’s immigration detainees. Turns out when $3 million of the federal funds were not spent on feeding the immigration detainees(surplus), Republican Sheriff Entrekin kept half of that($1.5 million) for himself.
While many people from other parts of the country may find this story shocking, this kind of graft is actually very common, even legal in the deep-red Republican state of Alabama. The same Sheriff Entrekin was in the news a few months ago for a similar story. He apparently spent some $750,000 of Alabama state funds meant to feed state inmates at Etowah County to buy himself a beach house. This story made national news but the shocking part was that Alabama law allowed him to do that.
Specifically, Alabama law apparently allows a County Sheriff to personally pocket half of the money that was earmarked to feed inmates but is not used for that purpose(half of the surplus). So for example if $5 million is earmarked for feeding County inmates and at the end of the calendar year $2 million of that was not used(surplus), half of that($1 million) goes to the County’s general fund and the other half($1 million) is personally pocketed by the Sheriff. As you might expect, county inmates in Alabama are often served inadequate and even rotten food as the article correctly points out–a total travesty!!
It is against this backdrop that Sheriff Entrekin finds himself in trouble with federal authorities. In other words according to him, because the state of Alabama allows him to literally starve county inmates so he can buy himself a beach house, he figured he could do the same with federal immigration detainees housed in his Etowah County. Out of the $3 million surplus in federal funds meant to feed immigration detainees, he kept $1.5 million for himself. Luckily it appears federal prosecutors are not amused with this kind of out and out graft that is apparently legal in Alabama and may soon go after outgoing Sheriff Entrekin ( he lost his re-election bid this past November)
Bottom line, maybe this should be an eye opener to House Democrats and indeed the mainstream media to start scrutinizing how federal funds earmarked for immigration detainees are being used. Yours Truly will go out on a limb and say the kind of shocking corruption reported in Etowah County is by no means an isolated case–especially in deep-red “tough-on-immigration” Republican states.
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