- Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin took $750,000 from prison food funds
- He used it to buy a lavish four-bedroom beach house with a pool and boat dock
- Lawman claimed Alabama law meant he could keep ‘excess’ funds for himself
- He even used a ‘food provision account’ to pay for getting his lawn mowed
A sheriff pocketed $750,000 meant to feed prison inmates and used it to buy a lavish beach house – and it was completely legal.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin filed ‘more than $250,000’ of extra ‘compensation’ with the Alabama Ethics Commission from inmate feeding funds.
He claimed it under an obscure pre-WWII law allowed Alabama sheriffs to keep ‘excess’ prison food provisions for themselves.
His windfall could be even higher as anything over $250,000 in a year does not have to be reported, according to the Birmingham News.
The house has 2.5 bathrooms, timber floors, a modern kitchen, wraparound porch, double garage, in-ground pool, and canal access with a boat dock.
Sheriff Entrekin and his wife Karen were able to amass at least six houses around the state despite him earning a salary of just $93,178.80.
The prison food funds came from federal, state, and local government taxpayers, but unlike other states did not have to be handed back if not used.
The lawman was so brazen about keeping the cash he paid Etowah handyman Matthew Qualls to mow his lawn with a cheque marked Sheriff Todd Entrekin Food Provision Account’.
Sheriff Entrekin maintained keeping the money as he pleased was legal, despite growing condemnation and an ongoing statewide lawsuit.
‘The law says it’s a personal account and that’s the way I’ve always done it and that’s the way the law reads and that’s the way I do business. That’s the way the law’s written,’ he said.
‘In regards to feeding of inmates, we utilize a registered dietitian to ensure adequate meals are provided daily.
‘Alabama law is clear as to my personal financial responsibilities in the feeding of inmates. Regardless of one’s opinion of this statute, until the legislature acts otherwise, the Sheriff must follow the current law.’
Sheriff Entrekin’s opponent at this year’s sheriff election, Rainbow City Police Chief Jonathon Horton, said taxpayer funds should benefit taxpayers.
‘There’s been a tremendous amount of money left over that shouldn’t be used as a bonus check,’ he said.