Letter to the editor

Posted 12/31/08

This is in response to Rex Waddington’s false and outlandish charge of squandering $82,000 for exercise equipment for use by the Sheriff’s …

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Letter to the editor


This is in response to Rex Waddington’s false and outlandish charge of squandering $82,000 for exercise equipment for use by the Sheriff’s office, and then calling for my resignation for such an expense. Please know that I thought long and hard about even responding to this allegation, but I realize I have been silent far too long.

If Mr. Waddington had spent just a few minutes to check his facts, I do not believe he would have written his letter. What I do believe is that Mr. Waddington allowed himself to be used by the “whisperers” who have their own personal agenda to advance. There is a small, but very vocal group of “whisperers” in this county who don’t care about the truth or the facts. Their goal is to make themselves look good by making others look bad.

Let me be real clear about the cost of the exercise equipment. Not one penny of county funds was spent for this purpose, and the “whisperers” were well aware of this. As to the actual exercise equipment — we have two weight lifting machines, a tread mill, exercise bike, free weights and a punching bag. The suggested retail value of all of the equipment when new would be less than $15,000.

This is how the equipment was obtained: one weight machine was donated by the Elizabeth Police Department, the exercise bike was donated by a friend of a deputy, and the punching bag was donated by another deputy. The weight machine, tread mill and free weights were obtained by contacting people that had posted their equipment on Craigslist, and asking them if they would consider donating their equipment to the Sheriff’s office, which they graciously did. Yes, Mr. Waddington, all of the exercise equipment was free, thanks to the generosity of the donators.

My personal vehicle, gas and time were used to pick up the equipment, so even that is not an issue.

Let me address the county’s procedure for paying bills. Any expenditure the sheriff’s office makes is submitted to the office of the BOCC for payment. Commissioner John Metli reviews every dime that I spend. Why, Commissioner Metli can even tell you how much breakfast cost for one of my lieutenants who was out of state for training, (But that is another story). State law requires that any expenditure of more than $5,000 must be advertised and sealed bids must be submitted before purchasing. The “whisperers” on the BOCC know that these expenditures did not occur. If Mr. Waddington bothered to check his facts, he would know these bills did not exist.

I do agree with Mr. Waddington that the county should hire an administrator to monitor the budget because the job that has been done thus far is abysmal. As of Dec. 31, according to the figures submitted to the state, this county will have approximately $1,300 in its emergency fund to handle any county emergency. However, the “oversight committee” that has stepped forward and begged for the job is less than adequate.

Finally, I invite Mr. Waddington, or any other concerned citizen to visit the sheriff’s office and inspect our new facility and check out the exercise equipment and the all the other “luxuries” that I supposedly have. My budget is open for review. This has been an open offer since I have been in office, but not surprisingly, no one has ever come. I guess it is just easier to make stuff up rather than know the facts.

Mr. Waddington’s letter was an outright and deliberate lie to attack me personally, to create division among county employees, and to ridicule my deputies. No, Mr. Waddington, my deputies are not hiding in the bushes eating doughnuts. They are dedicated professionals working 24/7 to protect you and yours, and to make Elbert County a safer place to live. I believe you owe an apology.

— William Frangis

Elbert County sheriff


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