Burke County Sheriff sues county commissioners over control of agency’s budget

Burke County

WAYNESBORO, G.A. (WJBF) – Burke County Sheriff, Alfonzo Williams, is suing the County Commissioners for more control over his agency’s budget.

“So we’re asking the Chief Superior Court Judge to step and to mandate the Burke County Board of Commissioners to follow the law,” said Sheriff Williams.

In this 43-page lawsuit, Sheriff Williams accuses the Burke County Board of Commissioners of not following the law.

“The law requires that the Burke County Board of Commissioners set a reasonable budget for constitutional officers that being tax commissioners, court of superior court, probate judge and sheriff,” said Sheriff Williams.

Sheriff Williams says once that reasonable budget is set, constitutional officers have full control over how every penny is spent.

“We know what’s best for our officers and we are not allowed to make those decisions. We do not have that autonomy and flexibility, at least in the sheriff’s office, we do not,” said Sheriff Williams.

he suit goes on to explain that county leaders have no authority or control over,
sheriffs’ law enforcement function, but Williams says that’s not been the case for the past few years.

“We were spending an ordinate amount of money in the Sheriff’s office propping up other county departments and money was simply being funneled through our budget giving the appearance that we were spending a great deal of money on law enforcement services,” he said.

He says that money was going toward other county services.

“Janitorial services and information technology services and the money was not getting to where the rubber meets the road and that’s providing safety to the citizens in Burke County,” said Sheriff Williams.

Sheriff Williams says he’s just looking for more control over his budget.

“Historically the county manager has been in a position to make decisions that affect the sheriff’s office and other constitutional offices, but that’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” he said.

NewsChannel 6 did reach out to the County Commissioners for a response. They say they’ve been advised not to speak on the lawsuit publicly.

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