The Jasper County Commissioners and Sheriff Archie Dunn were at odds over money that had been held in a benevolent fund that was used primarily to pay for the Shop with a Deputy program.
According to both sides, the Jasper County Commissioners closed out the account about a month ago, and Sheriff Dunn and his attorney, Bill Fleischaker, asked the commissioners on Tuesday to turn the approximately $28,000 over to a group that would be governed by Jasper County Sheriff’s Office employees.
The Commissioners said they would take the matter under advisement and make a decision soon.
At issue at the meeting was where to put the money.
Fleischaker told the commissioners he is creating a not-for-profit corporation to be called the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department Benevolent Fund, which will be run by a board of employees of the department.
Fleischaker said he plans to apply for 501c3 status and a tax ID number.
Jasper County Counselor Norman Rouse said he’s spoken to an accountant who said because the fund has been used to provide assistance to Sheriff’s office employees in the past, he doesn’t think it will qualify for 501c3 status, which requires the money go to people outside those who might serve on the governing board.
Rouse suggested the money be transferred to an organization such as a Rotary Club or other group that already has 501c3 tax-exempt status and will pledge to use the money for the Shop with a Deputy program.
He said that’s how Webb City and Carl Junction police departments run their Shop with a Cop programs.
Rouse said the while a majority of the account, more than $22,000 of it, was used for the Shop with a Deputy program, the account was also used to pay for a Christmas party for Sheriff’s employees and for breast cancer awareness coins.
Fleischaker presented the Commission with a personal check from Dunn for $3,030 to pay for the coins, which were the subject of a dispute this past summer over whether or not they were being given away for political gain.
Rouse raised the allegation after Dunn said he mistakenly charged the county for the coins that were being sold to raise money for breast cancer awareness on his election Facebook page.
He presented the county with a check for $3,030 from the benevolent account to pay for the coins, but the commission refused to cash it and Rouse started looking into the fund.