MIAMI – An executive session regarding Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd that lasted almost two hours Wednesday morning ended with no action taken by county commissioners concerning the sheriff’s ongoing budget woes.
Wednesday’s special meeting was scheduled Monday after Floyd failed to supply the commissioners with documents containing the facts and figures previously requested from him.
At the start of Monday’s meeting, commissioner Russell Earls sought the advice of assistant district attorney Rogers Hughes about whether they should go into executive session after discovering that the sheriff had not brought the documents to be reviewed that had been previously requested from him.
“We are working on the list. We don’t have anything waiting to be paid at this time. The district attorney has approximately $17,000 in purchase orders to review,” Floyd said.
Floyd was referring to outstanding purchase orders he has been asked to review to see what can be closed out in order to gain money for the budget.
Earls then asked if there were any personnel that could be eliminated to save money. Floyd said they are working on that and that there was possibly one.
“We need resolution. I was hoping today,” Earls said.
Commissioner Mike Furnas asked the sheriff when he would have the necessary information and the sheriff said possibly by the end of the week.
“We need these facts and figures before we can proceed,” commission chair Chad Masterson, said.
The sheriff’s budget woes were brought to light late last year after it was discovered that Floyd had overspent his 2017/2018 fiscal year budget by over $380,000 (the fiscal year ends in June). While questioning the sheriff about the 2018/2019 budget, commissioners learned that he had already spent 34 percent of the general fund allotted in the first quarter of his 2018/2019 fiscal year budget, causing enough concern on the part of county officials and District Attorney Kenny Wright that a special operational audit was approved at the Nov. 26 commissioners’ meeting.
“We are monitoring things and visiting about what needs to be done to get the spending under control, or otherwise we will be in worse shape than last year,” Earls said.
The special audit, which is to begin as soon as the state clears a backlog of audits already scheduled, will cover procedures and processes in place at the sheriff’s office combined with county purchasing procedures.
At its conclusion, the auditors will prepare a report and make findings and recommendations.
In other matters at Monday’s meeting, Summer Aldridge of the County Emergency Management department reported that Incident Command System (ICS) courses needed to be completed by several county officials and sheriff’s office employees and noted that the courses are held in Fairland and more information could be found by logging onto the Oklahoma Homeland Security website.