Escambia County

Jail transfer is anything but smooth (video)

July 22, 2013

At the Committee of Whole meeting on July 18, Interim County Administrator George Touart gave his first written weekly report on the jail transition–nearly month after the county commission to the jail over from Escambia County Administrator George Touart.

He was particularly upset over a post on my blog that he talked with private contractors to takeover medical services at the jail. The interim administrator says the posts are lies. Notice on the video how Touart almost says he never had talked with contractor, but quickly modifies his statement to he hadn’t “initiated” any conversation.

He is also upset with the emails posted on the blog because they further verify the county was meeting with private contractors to take over not only medical services but the entire jail. The emails are public documents and were received under a record request we filed the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office for all documents regarding the jail transfer. The emails are recent. They are dated July 17 and posted the next day.

Touart’s statements about Sacred Heart and Baptist match what I reported.

However, that isn’t even the bizarre part. Last meeting, Touart accused the Sheriff’s Office of being uncooperative–a statement that his own staff later corrected. Sheriff Morgan told the paper in a phone interview that he would fire anyone who had cooperated.

On July 18, Touart blasted Sheriff Morgan, who wasn’t in the room. Touart said, “I’m at the point that the sheriff should fire himself.”

Watch the video —I’ve include the Mr. Outzen clip because it was in the middle of Touart’s and Valentino’s tirades about Sheriff Morgan, my paper, this blog and me.

This jail transition will be done in the Sunshine. We will continue to request public documents and report on the process. The county is less than 45 days from taking over the jail. It’s very worrisome how little progress has been made.

You Might Also Like

  • tina seely July 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I find it very upsetting that Commissioner Valentino is representing the county in which I was born and raised and call home. He is so arrogant and condescending.
    What a disgrace. Thank goodness that Commissioner Barry and Commissioner Robinson have the guts to stand up to that monster.
    Has everyone forgotten – there are real people’s careers at stake. How sad that the Commissioners would play with so many staff members emotions. I would venture to say that some staff members may get tired of the “no we’re transferring, no, we’re staying, no, we’re transferring” and the jail may inadvertently lose some very good employees. This entire situation is very sad.

  • denise July 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Well, I was worried but now I’m reassured since Gene and George have told me everything is OK…George, give yourself a raise; Gene make yourself king, or perhaps even a god; Morgan, fire yourself (but of course it’s Escambia County so you can re-hire yourself Monday morning).

    Gene and George are certifiable.

    Only in Escambia County…

  • ms Henry July 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Again the only reason gene is helping George is because he was promised time with rick scott to lobby for a job namely lt gov. The meeting was held in tally b4 she was busted. Fact!

  • Jann July 22, 2013 at 11:41 am

    My apologies for the comment I made earlier about GT’s cap. I did not know why he was wearing it, but under the circumstances, I understand.

  • jeeperman July 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Did Touart repeat that the ECSO is/still is un-cooperative on the 18th or was that a typo?

    “This jail transition will be done in the Sunshine.”
    Maybe should be edited to “If this jail transition will be done in the Sunshine.”

    I now suspect that it will not be.

  • jeeperman July 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

    The cap is worn for a reason only GT needs to know.
    Let it go.

  • Hangover 3 July 22, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I think you meant to say the sheriff said he would fire anyone who had NOT cooperated – correct? Fully expect DOJ to slap an injunction on the jail due to the complete dysfunction of the county’s efforts to assume the operation. Touart is incapable of cooperating with Morgan and has made the transition process untenable which should be grounds for immediate dismissal. The decisions to 1) let Oliver go 2) hire Touart and 3) take over the jail were all seriously flawed and the price to be paid for the combination of those mistakes will be huge.

  • EPenn July 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    ” Sheriff Morgan told the paper in a phone interview that he would fire anyone who had cooperated”

    I believe this needs a bit of editing… to include “not” cooperated…

  • Jann July 22, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Thanks again, Rick, for informing the public of the horrible situation that GT has gotten us in to.

    Am I the only one that is bothered by GT wearing a cap to these meetings? Sorry, I was raised (in Pensacola) to believe that gentlemen take off their hats/caps inside a building. Just disrespectful, especially inside a government building.