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By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter


Newly elected Dade Sheriff Ray Cross confirmed last week that the Georgia Bureau Investigation is in fact conducting an investigation pertaining to his department, but he could not specify into precisely which aspects.

“As far as I know, it’s something about the suits,” said Cross. 

He referred to recent revelations that, according to county credit card statements, previous Sheriff Patrick had spent $3,643.99 of the county’s money at Men’s Wearhouse and J.C. Penney on dress clothes for himself. 

The shopping spree took place in October, during Cannon’s lame duck period after Cross defeated him in the August Republican primary runoff. County Executive and Commission Chairman Ted Rumley and District 3 Commissioner Robert Goff said that Cannon told them when they confronted him with the credit card statement that the charges were for suits he had bought for himself and his detectives during court appearances.  

But none of the other sheriff’s department personnel ever received new suits. Cannon declined to speak to the Sentinel about the purchases and also stayed mum during a subsequent television news story. But according to a Sunday article in the Chatta-nooga Times Free Press, he told that paper that the suits were for him and that he was entitled to them under his uniform allowance.

Cross said the suit angle was the limit of what he knew about the investigation. He acknowledged that the GBI had questioned him personally but said he hadn’t been able to help much. “I can’t say much about it because I wasn’t here at the time,” he said.

Cross said the GBI had also made inquiries of the Dade County Commission, but Chairman Rumley said his office had not been questioned as much as the sheriff’s department.

In any case, Rumley said he’d been asked not to comment while the investigation was ongoing. He hinted that more might emerge from it than the questionable couture, but he declined to elaborate.

District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin, asked whether it was his office that had initiated the GBI investigation, said it was his policy neither to deny nor confirm such queries; nor would he comment on the investigation’s scope.

Otherwise, Sheriff Cross said he and his department were working on getting their new Citizens Academy and expanded Neighborhood Watch underway but did not so far have an ETA. “We’re hoping in the next couple of months,” he said. “It takes time to get these things together.”



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