By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
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.
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.
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.
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.”