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Hartselle Enquirer

Bartlett fends off pay criticism

By By Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Sheriff Greg Bartlett is defending himself against charges he didn’t provide adequate food to county inmates, charges that landed him in prison overnight last week.
Bartlett garnered national attention last week when US District Judge U.W. Clemons sent him to federal prison in Talladega for allegedly defying an earlier court order to supply inmates with adequate food. The story has been covered in the New York Times and on several national websites.
Bartlett is one of 55 sheriffs in the state allowed to personally keep any profits remaining from their food budget. The law was put in place in the 1930s to supplement a sheriff’s pay.
Bartlett legally received more than $200,000 in the last three years from the food budget excess. Sheriffs receive $1.75 a day to feed county inmates and $3 a day for federal inmates.
Bartlett has since agreed to give up the excess but that has led to questions about his regular salary. Bartlett’s salary is $64,000 a year, an amount he said is too low for the county’s top law enforcement officer.
Bartlett said the flipside of the law is sheriff’s can also be personally responsible for shortfalls in the budget.
In addition to no longer keeping the money, Bartlett said a staff member will now oversee inmates responsible for serving the food.

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