Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin, who came under scrutiny for pocketing money from an inmate food fund to buy a house in Orange Beach, Ala., lost a primary on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
(Etowah County Sheriff’s Office/Google-Earth-images )
An Alabama sheriff who came under fire after he bought an expensive beach house with the $750,000 he pocketed the funds intended to feed inmates was defeated in a primary election on Tuesday.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin lost his bid for re-election months after a report of AL.com on the beach the purchase of a house. The sheriff does not deny that he and his wife, Karen, about $1.7 million in real estate, including the beach house with a built-in pool with a value of approximately $740,000 and a two-story house in Orange Beach worth about $200,900. Entrekin’s annual salary is $ 93,178.80, AL.com reported.
Entrekin defended the decision to take the money and buy the house following the report.
“I don’t change laws, I don’t make the laws,” Entrekin told WBRC in March. “People don’t like it. Get on their legislators and change the law. I, as the sheriff, they have asked to change the law, I, as the sheriff, have tried to give back to the county commission on numerous occasions. They won’t. They don’t want it.”
Sheriff Todd Entrekin lost his bid for re-election next control after the purchase of a beach house with funds intended to feed inmates.
In Alabama, it is possible for sheriffs to personally profit from the prison meals. In many cases, it is less a sheriff spends the feeding of the prisoners, the more he or she can make.
The origin of the law can be traced back to when chain gangs were common in the late 1920s. Alabama has passed a law that gave sheriffs $1.75 per day to feed each prisoner, and the sheriffs got to pocket anything that was left over.
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Some residents questioned Entrekin the purchase, including Matthew Qualls, who was arrested on drug charges in February, just days after he publicly criticised Entrekin for the holding of the fund a surplus.
Qualls, who had paid to mow Entrekins’ lawn, told AL.com in an article soon after his arrest, he asked why he was receiving checks for his services through a “Sheriff Todd Entrekin Food Supply Account”, when he knew of persons in prison, who had gone without meals.
“I saw that in the corner of the checks he said ‘food’, and a few people I knew came by the prison, and they say they got meat maybe once a month and every other day, it was just beans and vegetables,” said Qualls AL.com.
Before Tuesday, the Republican primary election for the sheriff, Entrekin released tax forms show he made a profit of $672,392 from the prison kitchen in 2015 and 2016.
Entrekin was defeated by Rainbow City Police Chief Jonathon Horton, who told AL.com that Entrekin called him and gave the race after early returns showed Horton with a large lead.
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Entrekin told WBRC he “congratulations” Horton and his followers for “the race that they have run.”
“His supporters, and they have done a good job and I congratulate them on the race they have run,” Entrekin told WBRC.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.