And it was 100% legal.
New reports indicate that Scott Todd Entrekin, a sheriff from Alabama, recently took home $750,000 in money allocated to a prison's food budget in order to purchase a beach house valued at $740,000 USD. However, according to state law and local authorities, it is perfectly legal to do so in the state.
Alabama still has a Depression-era law set in place that effectively enables sheriffs to "keep and retain" unspent money used for jail food-provision accounts. Sheriffs across the southern state are legally permitted to take any excess funding as a personal income; although, in the event of a deficit, they are also liable to fill the gap.
Sheriffs have indulged in this privilege for decades, but the exact scale of this profitable practice is still unclear. "It is presently unknown how much money sheriffs across the state have taken because most do not report it as income on state financial disclosure forms," wrote the Southern Center for Human Rights in January.
Without these provision funds, Entrekin has an annual income of $93,000.
Speaking with NPR, the sheriff notes how the "liberal media has began attacking me for following the letter of the law. The Food Bill is a controversial issue that's used every election cycle to attack the Sheriff's Office. Alabama Law is clear regarding my personal financial responsibilities of feeding inmates. Until the legislature acts otherwise, the Sheriff must follow the current law."