Escambia County Commission Chairman Doug Underhill might get to build the “Tent City” jail that he has been discussing in BCC meetings. Late this afternoon, Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson gave Underhill and his fellow commissioners a 30-days notice that the Walton County Jail will no longer house Escambia County’s prisoners.
Apparently data presented at the BCC’s May 25 meeting didn’t sit well with Sheriff Adkinson.
On his blog, Commissioner Jeff Bergosh writes, “According to the letter, Sheriff Adkinson took issue with much of the data presented at that meeting; this appears to be the impetus for this sudden termination of the agreement.”
Bergosh published this excerpt from Adkinson’s one-page letter:
“It had been our hope to partner with you to provide a level of overflow capacity and advanced programs for inmates that could reduce overall costs. Unfortunately, I believe that exploration of this opportunity is no longer viable, nor is it in the best interest of Walton County…On May 25th 2017 we were taken aback by the presentation to the [Escambia] Board. That presentation’s veracity is central to my concern that the [Escambia] Board is not fully aware of operational issues at the jail and represents a deliberate indifference. I feel I have no other option than to exercise our right to terminate our agreement.”
Bergosh said the cancelation is “devastatingly terrible” news: “…we currently have nearly 300 inmates in Walton County—at a cost per inmate per day of $53.00– which is much less than we have been able to pay housing our own inmates here.”
He told Inweekly that Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown is trying to repair the relationship.