The Scioto County Commissioners announced that after a third-party audit and appraisal of the Sheriff’s Department vehicles, the results have been submitted to the Scioto County Prosecutor due to such great discrepancies.
“In an ongoing effort to try and determine how any cars there are in the sheriff’s fleet, the condition of those cars, where they are, it’s just been an ongoing saga,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis. “Some of what has surrounded that is questions surrounding the need to purchase new vehicles, justifying that. I will tell you that during the process of two vehicle purchases the Sheriff has threatened to sue us because we didn’t let him do it, because we were asking very pointed questions as to where everything was.”
Davis stated commissioners were eventually advised to allow the purchases to move forward, but stated it was still a right of the commissioners to ask questions.
“We still have to pay for the fuel, we still have to pay for the insurance, we still have to pay for a lot of things in reference to those vehicles, including maintenance,” said Davis. “We asked those questions and we were threatened with a lawsuit because we didn’t move quickly enough on that.”
Commissioners stated that they still have an outstanding inventory discrepancy regarding the Sheriff’s fleet, stating they were advised the number of vehicles was 62.
“We were advised last year to do an audit of the vehicles out at Belford’s and an appraisal of those vehicles. The Prosecutor’s Office advised that was the way to do it in order to have an auction or private sale afterward. Our Sheriff stated we should just sign those titles over to Mr. Belford who is neither a licensed scrap dealer, junkyard dealer owner, nor bonded. None of that,” said Davis.
According to commissioners the third-party audit was conducted as advised and resulted in several vehicles being appraised for $1,200, despite the Sheriff’s claims the vehicles held no value. Commissioners stated the process took such a long time due to cars being spread out over acres and acres of fields and said that the appraisal as well as an audit of 79 vehicles rather than 62 was submitted to the County Prosecutor.
Commissioners stated while they have never disputed the Sheriff’s right to have spare vehicles for maintenance purposes, several of the vehicles are models no longer used by the department and were never pulled and auctioned off.
In regard to what is to come of the 79 spare vehicles from the sheriff’s fleet, commissioners stated an interested party, that is properly licensed and bonded as a junkyard dealer, has come forward and offered $250 per vehicle.
Commissioners stated that due to the location and condition of the land where the vehicles have been kept over the years auctioning the vehicles off to a person would create liability for the county.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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