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Escambia County jail defends handling of flood repairs two years ago
Escambia County is defending its handling of flood damage repairs at the jail two years ago.
The county issued a statement after an old letter from Sheriff Morgan, about flooding issues, surfaced online.
The Central Booking and Detention building flooded in June 2012.
Later that year, Morgan wrote to then- acting County Administrator Larry Newsom about the jails current condition.
County Commissioner Lumon May says he never saw the original letter and says it's time to focus on those affected.
"This letter is dated November 2012. In it Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan outlined what the county needed to do to keep the jail safe."
He wrote to then acting County Administrator Larry Newsom..
"It is our understanding that the current plan is to repair the systems in the CBD basement and leave them in their current location."
"This solution leaves the Escambia County Sheriff's Office vulnerable to the same severe consequences that were suffered in this most recent flood."
"You don't defer jail operations they're handled immediately."
Sheriff Morgan says he and his staff found several state and federal grants the county could apply for to repair the jail in 2012.
He says it would cost the county and taxpayers nothing..
"When we approached the commission with these changes that we knew needed to be made they were very reasoned even the amount of money we asked for, we had crunched those numbers six ways from Sunday."
But the county took another route.
And say their insurance company had no issues with their plan to repair the damage as long as they included "Proactive Improvement Measures."
Their plan included installing pumps on the bottom floor and add new retention ponds around the jail.
Those projects have yet to be completed.
The sheriff says his ideas and request were ignored.
"Cutting corners and trying to save money that gets you sued and that gets people killed."
"There is no secret I voted against taking the jail because I felt that there was some unclear questions or there was some answers I needed before I was comfortable enough to vote to take it."
County Chairman Lumon May says the county is focusing on taking care of those affected by the flood and explosion that occurred at the jail.
Lumon May "I think it's to early in the game for people to start pointing fingers."
Morgan says as long as he's in charge, the sheriff's office will not take the jail back under their control.
"Dealing with the county commission it's not worth the irritation and the aggravation and that's the bottom line."
"What happened inside the jail is still under investigation."