George’s version of the truth

For $50, I got five DVDs of the Escambia County BCC Budget workshops. The videos show some troubling inconsistencies regarding the County’s takeover of the county jail.

Interim County Administrator George Touart promised the Board of County Commissioners that he would deliver weekly updates on the jail transfer from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the county. Two weeks passed and no reports were written. I reported this on July 8. Touart responded that he was in the hospital and the commissioners were out of town so he didn’t do the promised reports.

Then Touart tells the commissioners that the Sheriff hasn’t cooperated with his staff on the transfer. This actually conflicts with Touart’s phone conversation with me when he told me that he has always complimented the sheriff on his cooperation. After this meeting, Sheriff Morgan told the paper that he will fire any employee who hasn’t cooperated if Touart will name them and describe the incident. He is still waiting for a phone call from Touart.

County Budget Director Amy Lovoy and County Attorney Allison Perdue have a different report for the BCC. Lovoy has plenty to report and says county departments have been working hard with the ECSO. Perdue tells the board that the ECSO has been cooperating.

Then George Touart denies that he ever was interested in privatizing medical services. He again refers to my blog. At the BCC June 20 agenda meeting, Touart told the commissioners that he had a powerpoint on the medical services. Officials at Sacred Heart have told me that the county has contacted them about providing the services. And we have emails (Jailemails ) that show county staff did meet with companies about managing the jail. Yesterday, I was told that Armour, the company that once ran jail medical services, had been told to draft a RFP on medical services. Touart also denied any plans to privatize the jail medical services in our phone conversation last week.

Touart has always liked to twist and mince words to avoid any flat out lies, but these inconsistencies between his words and the facts are very troubling.