Sheriff-elect David Morgan has started out his administration with a bold move that is smart politically and fiscally responsible. He wants to move his department’s accounting under the County Comptroller Ernie Lee Magaha.
We’ve argued for consolidation and the first place to start is for the Constitutional officers to merge some of their departments. Supervisor of Elections David Stafford already uses Magaha’s office.
Also Magaha’s operation is considerably more transparent that the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The taxpayers only know what Sheriff McNesby has requested from the County Commission to run his department, the jail and courthouse security. We don’t know his total budget. We have no idea how much he actually spends on various departments. There is no financial data on the ECSO website.
The audit is also a sound financial move. The starting balances for all the accounts need to be accurate. It’s smart politically, too. For months, there have been rumors of problems with FEMA funds and McNesby’s advisors being given big raises and severance packages. An independent auditor will clear that up.