In fiscal year 2019 alone, the department spent
Malphrus, who was defeated in the primary and will leave his post after a new sheriff is elected in November, could be personally held responsible for the amount, but he maintains that the most recent budget documents are "inaccurate and incomplete."
It's unclear where the
Fulghum acknowledged that
"So that's what we've been doing," he said.
The issue recently came to light after
Tedder asked about "the duties, responsibilities and liability of the Sheriff on the one hand, and the recourses and duties of
Tedder did not return calls to his office Tuesday or Wednesday.
'Clear my name in this mess'
Malphrus says the documents don't accurately reflect the Sheriff Office's finances.
"There are a lot of things it doesn't show that would offset those numbers drastically," he told The
Malphrus said much of the extra spending was out of his control, such as employees working overtime during two hurricanes, a "massive uptick in crimes" like homicides, shootings, and car break-ins, and COVID-19 expenses.
Other expenses that he said were out of his control were "unfunded mandates," such as medical insurance and vehicle insurance, which increase from year to year. Malphrus said that accounted for about
He did not explain why the insurance increases were not in his
He acknowledged that the increased costs affect every county department, but said his department, with about 53 employees, is among the largest and thus cost the most.
"I did go over budget on things, but I had a legitimate reasons I had to," he said.
Malphrus contends that not all the money his department is bringing in was included in the budget documents.
"The budget does not reflect reimbursements the county received through grants the
He also says fines, fees, and forfeitures weren't included and that revenue would account for about
"The overspending is very easily explained," Malphrus said. "There's some legitimate reasons why those things happen. ... Without digging deep into it, I know I can explain away 60% or 80%. There's a whole lot more under the surface, but my immediate goal is to clear my name in this mess."
Malphrus said he's taking the time to review the department's budget line by line, and invites concerned residents to meet with him to "find out the truth."
"I clearly don't have
Burgess, the county's financial director, did not return calls Tuesday or Wednesday but confirmed by email that the
In the letter Tedder wrote the
A look at the numbers:
Overspending in recent years, according to comprehensive annual financial reports:
In recent years, the
From 2010 to 2017, the
Similarly from 2010 to 2017, the
Malphrus said Tuesday that he has 53 or 54 full-time employees.
The most recent comprehensive annual financial report, which would have figures for the fiscal year ending in June, is not available because the "financials are still being finalized," Burgess said.
Editor's note: This story will be updated when more information becomes available.
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