Editor's note: Sheriff Ezell Brown submitted this letter in response to questions from The Covington News about the increase in expense allowance for the sheriff. Brown spoke with editors and News staff writer Darryl Welch on Monday, after the story was published, to say the issue of his expenses is separate from the larger issue of the use of purchasing cards by county employees. We are publishing his letter in its entirety.
July 26, 2018
Dear Mr. Welch,
The minimum salary of each sheriff in the State of Georgia shall be fixed according to the population of the county in which he or she serves, as determined by the United States decennial census of 1990 or any other future census.
In addition to the minimum salary provided in Code Section 15-16-20, the sheriff of any county who performs the duties of a sheriff for a state court, probate court, magistrate court, juvenile court, or county recorder’s court under any applicable general or local law of this state shall receive compensation for his or her services in such court or courts. The County’s governing authority has the right to grant such salary as prescribed by Georgia law for any and all constitutional officials. The request was made and the Newton County Board of Commission (BOC) honored the request. With that, I appreciate the BOC for honoring the request.
As for the P-cards, I believe in the county’s policy as well as Georgia’s law as it relates to P-card usage. I hold myself and my staff accountable for P-card usage. All members of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) use P-cards for official NCSO business. NCSO has a process in which P-card usage is reviewed on a monthly basis. In the past, other County departments may have had issues, but never once has NCSO used or abused the privileges set forth by County policy as it relates to P-cards.
As Sheriff, I hold certain positions on various boards throughout the State. With that, I travel frequently. That being said, the expense account offsets the use of my personal credit card.
Ezell Brown, Sheriff