Local News

Documents detail money concerns in Franklin sheriff's office

Posted February 22, 2011 4:56 p.m. EST
Updated February 22, 2011 11:15 p.m. EST

— A Superior Court judge in Franklin County on Tuesday ordered that hundreds of pages of public documents related to a criminal investigation involving the former sheriff be released.

Pat Green, who has not been charged with any crime, resigned last month a day before the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed it was investigating money missing from the sheriff’s office.

Nearly 300 pages of e-mails and financial records dating to 2008 provide details of numerous requests by Green for thousands of dollars for what he said were to be used for undercover drug investigations.

According to the documents, Finance Director Chuck Murray said the sheriff told him that "he was working on a huge federal drug investigation that involved a county commissioner and two senators."

Murray had other concerns. The sheriff's department received money and donations to shop with children at Christmas, but Murray said receipts did not account for all the money they were given.

The county and sheriff’s office became concerned, according to the documents, after a routine audit in which the auditor suggested better documentation be kept to support transfers of funds.

Other documents show that county officials had been concerned about how internal records were being kept and that some staff suspected Green had been taking money since 2008 that he said was being used for a federal investigation.

The documents also say that when confronted about accounting for the money, Green became upset and resigned Jan. 30 before they could complete their audit.

Other documents detail a conversation between the former sheriff and the sheriff's office attorney in which Green said there was more than $100,000 missing, that an audit was under way, and that he could not take a polygraph test to help account for it.

Attorneys representing the sheriff’s office, county and state didn’t object to releasing the documents, but Green’s attorney had asked that they not be released.

County commissioners have said that they will not appoint a new sheriff until after the conclusion of the SBI investigation.

Chief Deputy Elliott Pinnell is overseeing operations at the sheriff's office until then.