“Apparently counting cars is harder than what it seems to be.” Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis if fed up with the response from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office over what he calls the “ongoing saga” of trying to get an accurate inventory of the Sheriff’’s vehicle fleet.
When Commissioner Cathy Coleman asked Davis to update everyone on where the process stood, it was clear that all three commissioners were frustrated.
Davis said requests to approve the purchase of new vehicles prompted the commissioners to ask for an accurate inventory and information about the condition of each vehicle caused a rift between commissioners and the sheriff’s office. “During the process of two vehicle purchases, the sheriff has threatened to sue us because we wouldn’t let him do it. We were asking pointed questions.”
He went on to say that the Sheriff’s Office has the right to purchase vehicles but that since the county foots the bill for insurance, fuel, and maintenance, it has a right to ask questions and be kept up-to-date. When the sheriff’s office finally submitted an inventory, it showed 62 vehicles.
The Scioto County Prosecutor advised that the county get an independent audit from a third-party company. That company’s count showed 79 cars. Davis said getting the audit was a challenge because many of the vehicles are stacked out in an open field infested by ticks and chiggers, so they had to wait until the frost had killed off the bugs to ensure the safety of auditors.
As for what happens next, Davis says, “We’ve tried. We’re at a standstill.” He says for now they’ve been advised to do nothing further because it’s been referred to the State Auditor. The commissioners also expressed concern over the county’s liability for these vehicles. I’ll get into the details of that in part two of this article.
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