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City Investigates Sheriff's Alleged Housecleaning

Sheriff-elect C.T. Woody asked the city to look into the matter. He won't say who told him about the alleged destruction: "Well, you know, people are always telling me things," he says. Mitchell could not be reached last week because of the holiday.

Woody says he wants to make clear that "this has come to my attention, but I am not accusing them of actually doing that." He just wants a third party to investigate, he says. "If it's true we'll find out."

Interim City Auditor Randi Ricco-Clifford has said her office will review the situation and look into the training of jail employees and the "general fiscal administration" of the jail. "Since time is of the essence," Ricco-Clifford wrote in her letter, interviews of jail personnel would start Nov. 28.

If the allegation is true, wouldn't the city want to begin investigating sooner than later? Woody says he's done all he can do. As of Nov. 23, Mitchell had not responded to the letter, he says.

A lieutenant colonel in the sheriff's department "assured me that it's not happening," says Woody, who then asked if he could visit the sheriff's office himself. "He said he was working on that and would let me know sometime after Thanksgiving."

"I said, 'OK, right,'" Woody says.

In the meantime, Woody's been making other preparations for when he officially becomes sheriff Jan. 1, including picking a new management staff.

"So many" jail employees are calling Woody, he says, concerned about employment after he takes office. He says he's been telling them not to worry: "Anybody that gets fired is going to have to fire themselves by not doing their jobs." - Melissa Scott Sinclair

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