Jail transfer is anything but smooth (video)

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.