Sheriff's Candidate Allegations - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

4/6/08 - Angelina County

Sheriff's Candidate Allegations

by Christa Lollis

Payments being paid from the sheriff's narcotics fund are raising questions from Trent Burfine who's challenging Kent Henson in this years election for sheriff. "I've got itemized in there the billings where the sheriff has been taking friends out to lunch, making donations to community organizations that he has no authority to do." But there's nobody to say he can't. This account is made up of funds from narcotics that are seized during investigations. According to the sheriff, the commissioners court doesn't have to approve spending for this account unless it's more than twenty five thousand dollars. That's where Burfine says the problem is. He explains, "It's outside the control of the county commissioner so they don't have any oversight of it but the auditor has audit authority but he does not have enforcement authority on it."

Henson told KTRE that he requests regular audits. In a letter, the auditor questions purchases for the cable bill and a meal at Logan's Roadhouse. Henson explains the cable was going to be turned off and the lunch was with a group of DPS auditors. But still, Burfine isn't happy with that answer. "You have to remember that fund is solely for law enforcement purposes only and to be used for enforcement of drug crimes, not to pay a cable TV bill."

Sheriff Henson has told KTRE he plans to research these allegations and will comment once he knows more about the claims Burfine has made.  We will have a follow up on this story as more information becomes available.

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