Deputy: Back off the Fulton sheriff

Charles Rambo stepped up to the podium, prayed to the Lord and told Fulton County Commissioner Bob Fulton that he had no business criticizing the sheriff's ability to run the county jail.

"We are definitely against you doing any privatization," said Rambo, president of the Fulton deputy's union. "We are not for the abolishment of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department."

Rambo, saying he was speaking for the 600 or so deputies who work in the jail, addressed commissioner Fulton specifically during his allotted two-minute time slot at the Dec. 19 board meeting. Rambo called attention to Fulton's criticism of Sheriff Jacquelyn Barrett, as printed in the Dec. 12 edition of CL. Neither Fulton nor the other commissioners could respond to Rambo, because he spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Fulton had told CL that the sheriff appears to have mismanaged funds, overspending $1.2 million on a county contract for jail maintenance. He also cited patterns of abusive and law-breaking deputies laid out in a November CL story.

"For her to mismanage something at this level is inexcusable," Fulton said. "You need to hire somebody out of an MBA program, not someone who everyone likes and votes for. "

Although doing away with the county sheriff and privatizing the jail are nowhere near the board's current or future agendas (it's doubtful the board has the authority to make so drastic a decision), Fulton told CL that the board will likely conduct an audit of the overspent contract.

As for the audit, Rambo said he was in "100 percent agreement." The department, he said, has nothing to hide.??

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