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Sheriff Morgan launches investigation into commissioner statements
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan has launched a criminal investigation after comments County Commission Chairman Gene Valentino made to Channel Three news last week.
Valentino and the sheriff have been at odds about the sheriff's budget, in particular, the sheriff's request for an additional 18-million dollars next year.
A recent report from the Department of Justice that concluded the county jail is unsafe, under-staffed, and violent added more fuel to the feud.
Valentino says management and personnel problems should be fixed before Morgan requests more money from commissioners.
Here's how he put it in an interview last Wednesday.
Gene Valentino, Chair, Escambia County Commission: "We don't just throw money at problems. I've got reports coming back to me that some are sitting there playing computer games on their laptops and not even addressing prisoners. Let's talk about those things first before you ask me for money."
Sheriff Morgan says he has opened a criminal investigation into whether his deputies played games on their laptops while on the job.
If it is true, he says that would be a 3rd degree felony.
He wants his investigators to interview Valentino under oath in the next few days.
Valentino is on an economic development trip with state lawmakers in the country of Panama trying to negotiate more trade opportunities with the country.
He says he will be happy to cooperate with any investigation into his comments and productivity at the jail and will address it as soon as he gets home.
To see the entire interview with Gene Valentino - just log on to weartv.com and click on Raw News.