Marshall County approves ordinance requiring sheriff’s office to pool fees

The Marshall County Fiscal Court approved an ordinance on Tuesday that puts the county in charge of the sheriff’s department’s budget. The ordinance calls for fee pooling, which means fiscal court will control all money collected by the sheriff’s office.

"I wasn’t in favor of it, but fiscal court decided that’s what they wanted to do," said Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Byars.

After Marshall County Fiscal Court unanimously passed the ordinance, Byars said the new county law won’t stop him from protecting you.

"At this point, I pledge to continue to do that and work with commissioners to continue to provide services and protection to the citizens," Byars said. 

Judge Executive Kevin Neal says the new ordinance allows fiscal court to understand where taxpayer dollars are being spent.

"You have to have the details, the open communication. There’s information that we don’t know down at the sheriff’s department," Neal said.

The idea of fee pooling isn’t new. The McCracken County Sheriff’s Department has been fee pooling since the late ’80s or early ’90s. McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden takes paperwork to the county treasurer each month that lists his fee revenues and expenditures.

"That’s basically what we will receive each month," Neal said.

Neal says Marshall County will follow similar guidelines. Rather than meeting once to approve the sheriff’s budget, the sheriff will turn in monthly reports.

"He’s still the sheriff, still the elected official, and he’ll run the sheriff’s department. But, as far as the money flow, it’s going to flow different, and there’s going to be some accountability," Neal said.

The ordinance comes after county leaders say an audit found the department was over budget a few years ago. The audit says in 2010 the department was $57,836 over budget. It says in 2011 it was $35,644 over budget.
Byars says there were oversights, and every year since he followed state auditor recommendations to make sure it didn’t happen again.

The ordinance goes into affect in January. Neal says the county treasurer already met with the sheriff’s office to go over the new process.

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