Sheriff's Department Spending - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/07/08-Lufkin

Sheriff's Department Spending

by Tashun Chism

Angelina County Sheriff candidate Trent Burfine recently questioned payments made from Sheriff Henson's narcotics funds. Since the funds must only be used for law enforcement purposes, a couple of purchases also raised the eyebrows of Angelina County auditors.

 

Angelina County Auditor Eddie L. Gray told us, "Any unsual expenditures we routinely question."

One of the payments in question is a Cable bill. Henson says the county normally pays the Sheriff Department's Cable bill, but they were running behind for the month. He also says Cable is used as a part of law enforcement.

"We have it here for the weather. It's in dispatch and it's for the weather so they can watch the weather channel in case something was to come up. That's what it's for," Henson said.

The other payment in question is a recent dinner at Logan's Roadhouse. Henson tells us the dinner was strictly business and was part of a meeting with DPS auditors.

"They were here for a full week doing audits and everything so we went out to eat, because they were busy and we were, too. That's about the only time we had to actually sit down and talk to them. So we sat down and visited with them. It was not like carrying friends to lunch. This was a business type deal," Henson said.

County auditors say Henson's explanation met their approval. Henson says the $25,000 narcotics fund is never used by the Sheriff's Department unless it's absolutely necessarily.

"That's money that instead of the tax payers having to pay for it, we're buying it through the narcotics fund. It's saving tax payers money with things that we need. Rather than having to go spend tax payers money on it. I'm a taxpayer just like everybody else is and anyway we can save, we're going to save," Henson told us.

Henson also tells us the Sheriff's Department's new gun range and six new patrol cars were purchased with money from the narcotics fund.

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