Cleveland County Budget Board Approves $1.3 Million Advance To Sheriff's Office

The meeting at the Cleveland Country budget board was heated after the board approved an advance of $1.3 million to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office to cover expenses.

Monday, February 26th 2024, 6:49 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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The meeting at the Cleveland Country budget board on Monday afternoon was heated.

The board approved an advance of $1.3 million to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office to cover expenses.

The meeting took a turn after a reported discrepancy in the Sheriff’s Office's budget. "There are some major discrepancies between what I think are the numbers and what you think are the numbers," said Sheriff Chris Amason during the meeting.

The budget board addressed this discrepancy of millions of dollars during the meeting. The Sheriff’s office says it’s used about $13 million of its $18.2 million budget. "They received $18 million they've already spent $15 million, we have a little over four months to go," said Jim Reynolds, Cleveland County Treasurer

Despite the disparity, the board approved the $1.3 million advance. "We had to put money in there so they can make payroll, this is a critical time but we also have to take care of all the money that goes into their accounts, those are taxpayer dollars," said Rusty Grissom, Cleveland County Commissioner.

However, Cleveland County Undersheriff Michael Finley said the agency is not overspending, it is underfunded. "What are you expecting, should we ignore human trafficking cases, what about the safety and well-being of our inmates in our detention center, should we abandon efforts to protect victimized children or cease our patrols altogether," he said.

The Sheriff’s Office requested an audit, that should be completed in two to three months.

The Cleveland County Sheriff shared a statement following the meeting:

“Differences exist between the expenditure records of my office and those provided by the Treasurer. Tomorrow, we are meeting with the County Clerk’s office to look deeper into these discrepancies. It would be nice for all of us to collaborate and reconcile these differences in fund allocation. A cooperative approach here is far more sensible than continuing with political posturing, which ultimately burdens the taxpayer.” – Cleveland County Sheriff Chris Amason

The Treasurer’s documents from the Cleveland County Budget Board Meeting can be read below:

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