FALLS COUNTY, Texas – Just two days after Sheriff Ricky Scaman was voted out of office, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards informed county officials that the Falls County Jail is considered “noncompliant” with state standards.
As a result, Falls County Judge Jay Elliot and commissioners decided to lawyer up as they prep to sue Sheriff Ricky Scaman in order to obtain records for an audit on the County Jail – one they say hasn’t been completed since Scaman took over as sheriff.
The requested records are linked to commissary and inmate welfare accounts in the jail.
“We have to do three years of audits on the comissarry account for this to ensure that we are compliant,” Elliot said.
The county could face financial consequences if this audit isn’t complete by it’s December 5th deadline.
Judge Elliot tells FOX44 he has requested the documents from Sheriff Scaman personally several times to no avail.
“We’ve run into a myriad of excuses that something is locked in somebody’s office, somebody had a stroke, couldn’t get into it, or our computer crashed, you name it. There was always an excuse as to why we couldn’t get the complete record,” said Elliot.
He says it’s difficult to wrap his head around spending county funds on litigation.
“It’s kind of disappointing. It should be easy, should be. It blows my mind exactly that we can’t get the records,” the judge said.
The county’s decision to get lawyered up was only one of the five motions passed in their Commissioners Court meeting on Monday morning. The other motions included limiting Scaman’s spending to $100 on budgetary items, enacting what is known as the Lame Duck Law.
They have also cut any overtime within the Sheriff’s Department – only allowing overtime previously approved by county commissioners.
Falls County authorities say the Sheriff’s inability to provide documents does raise speculation, but they say they will address their concerns through the legal process.
“If there’s any wrong doing, we will follow up with an investigation. If everything works out, then we have a good audit, and hopefully it will be done before the 5th of December, and we won’t be considered non-compliant,” Elliot shared.
FOX44 made contact with Sheriff Scaman, and he offered no comment referring to his lawyers on the case.
Scaman’s lawyers never responded.