We’ll write a check to the general fund for the sheriff’s office. Then tomorrow, you can talk about something else.
David Morgan appeared on NewsTalk 1370 WCOA this morning. I asked him to explain his statue.
“Well, we were redoing the sheriff’s office grounds. There were planned upgrades for the employee break area. We put in fences, we put in some cookers and was also planning to redo the memorial,” said Morgan.
“And so our protocol officer had traveled some and we were going to replicate what we saw both at the Florida Sheriff’s Association and also other sheriff’s departments where there were bronze likenesses or statues that you would be saluting the fallen officers and the current men and women that are serving.
And so the idea was to replicate that here at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. And so we had the money, and actually the News Journal as always got it wrong. It was not $75,000 for me. It was like $37.5 for the statue of the sheriff and then $37.5 for the K-9 officer and his K-9. So it was $37.5 and $37.5. It wasn’t $75,000 for just the statue of me.”
The former sheriff joked that that a vote was held to determine whose likeness would be used – “And it came down to Andy Marlette at the News Journal and me.”
“I won and so I said, ‘What the hell, go on and make the statue of me.’ So that’s what it came down to,” said Morgan.
“The sad part of this is like you said–oh, this is the news. With COVID and Kabul and everything else going on, this is the news. Must’ve been a slow news day yesterday. But anyway, you and the folks will be happy to know that I’m going to write a check to the county today for $37.5 ($37,500) to pay for the statute.”
Morgan said the only call he got about the statue was from the daily newspaper.
“The sad part of this, Rick, is I didn’t get a call from anybody except the News Journal to ask me, ‘Okay, we got statues down here, Sheriff. What do you want us to do with these things?'”
“And I would have explained to everybody very calmly, as I just explained to you, that this was part of the upgrade project around the sheriff’s office. And if you’re offended by the fact that the statue was a likeness of me, well, okay, change the face. I could care less. It was about an homage to our first responders and the men and women that
I served with for 12 years.
But governance by ambush, that’s kind of the rule in Escambia County. That’s Chapter 1 of how to lead in Escambia County. We never call the question. We don’t pick up the phone and call somebody and say, ‘Hey, what’s up with this? We’d like your take.’ And that’s how this goes. So it’s just another day in Escambia County.”
He added, “We’ll write a check to the general fund for the sheriff’s office. Then tomorrow you can talk about something else.”
Other sheriffs in Florida have done similar statues.
“At the Florida Sheriff’s Association, actually, they have several bronze statues out front,” said Morgan. “And again, this is one of those things, Rick, in hindsight, was it a good thing to do? Well, who knows? It was just something that we did to honor the men and women, but we want to personalize this in Escambia County.
He continued, “We always look for the negative. We never look for the positive. And so again, I’ll make your story go away. I’m going to write a check today. So what are you going to talk about tomorrow?”