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The Carthage Press
  • County Commission votes on Shop with Deputy account

  • The Sheriff’s Benevolent fund, which funds the Shop with a Deputy program, hosted by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, will be handled like any other county fund after a vote by the Jasper County Commissioners on Tuesday.
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  • The Sheriff’s Benevolent fund, which funds the Shop with a Deputy program, hosted by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, will be handled like any other county fund after a vote by the Jasper County Commissioners on Tuesday.
    The commissioners approved a resolution on Tuesday creating three funds from money that was left over when the commissioners ordered the closure of the fund.
    Jasper County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Norman Rouse, who acts as counselor for the Commission, said the money will be deposited in three funds, one containing $3,171.25 for the Sheriff’s Office Christmas Party; one holding $1,780 for the purchase of Breast Cancer Awareness Coins and one holding $23,291.31 to pay for the Shop with a Deputy program.
    Rouse said the money would be handled like other county funds with requests coming from the sheriff’s office and evaluated by the County Treasurer, Auditor and commission and made out to vendors for goods and services.
    Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn had no comment about the move except to ask why a vote was taken on the item when it was not on the commission’s Oct. 16 agenda.
    Dunn said he didn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting because it was not on the agenda.
    He did attend the Oct. 9 meeting when his attorney, William Fleischaker, proposed creating a not-for-profit entity, with employees of the sheriff’s office on the board, to handle the money.
    Jasper County Presiding Commissioner John Bartosh said the commission voted on the resolution as “old business,” even though it was not specifically listed on the agenda.
    “We have been working on this for a long time,” Bartosh said. “For three months we asked them to take the county’s name and tax id number off the account and nothing happened. We finally decided we needed to act to protect the integrity of the account.”
    This issue first came up this past summer when the commissioners and Rouse said they learned about the account and learned that it was created under the county’s name and tax number.
    The commissioners and Rouse alleged that Dunn was giving away breast cancer awareness coins 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.
    Both sides said there was no taxpayers’ money in the account and the commissioners said they had no interest in the account when Rouse was looking into it this summer.
    Page 2 of 2 - Then the commissioners apparently ordered the account closed in July or August and a check for the total amount remaining in the account was sent to the Sheriff’s Office, which was the mailing address on the account.
    Dunn said after the Oct. 9 meeting he had the check, but the commissioners had to sign it for it to be cashed.
    Rouse said on Tuesday that the money could be made available for the Shop with a Deputy program and the other needs it was intended for as soon as Sheriff Dunn turned the check over to the commissioners.
    Dunn on Tuesday declined to say whether he would turn the check over.
    Rouse said the money would be spent for those purposes until it is depleted, then the accounts closed to allow the Sheriff elected on Nov. 6 to start his own Christmas program.
    Dunn lost his bid for another term as Sheriff in August, losing to current Carthage Assistant Police Chief Randee Kaiser in the Republican primary.
    Kaiser faces Libertarian John Karriman in general election on Nov. 6.
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