Sheriff Prepared to Sue County Over 2018 Budget


Sheriff Jeff Johnson

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — First-year Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson wants a bigger slice of the 2018 county budget than commissioners approved last month and he is prepared to take them to court to get it.

Johnson’s attorney Joseph Homans sent County Attorney Lynn Frey an email requesting additional legal fees for the sheriff regarding the petition for mandamus he intends to file in Superior Court should the county not approve the budget submitted by the sheriff in July.

According to the petition, that request was for $8,961,406. In September county commissioners approved a budget of $8,273,080.

The petition states, “The budget approved by Respondents constitutes abuse of discretion as Respondents failed to fulfill their duty to adopt a budget making reasonable and adequate provisions for personnel and equipment necessary to enable the Sheriff to perform his duties.”

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond

As of Tuesday (Oct. 24), Homans said he had nothad a response from the county.

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond said, “We are looking at it with our attorney right now. We will discuss it in executive session on Thursday and I will be able to say more about it then.”

The sheriff’s budgeting process is unlike any in state government. Commissioners control the budget, but sheriffs are constitutional officers, elected by the citizens. Their budgets cannot be cut unless the sheriff agrees.

Commissioners contend the budget they approved reflects an increase over the 2017 budget.









1 Comment

  1. Norma October 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    I was at these meetings and my Sheriff and Citizens of Dawson County got the shaft!
    The commissioners were arguing over what the sheriffs dept spent on office supplies and fixing up the sheriffs offices.
    I want the Sheriff to have whatever he needs to run an adequate department!
    One thing WE do not ever want to do is cut funds to the sheriffs department the protects this community.
    Let the commissioners do an audit and find wasted funds in other departments such as their own department and personnel.
    I am here to tell you I have done audits and there is wasted money everywhere.
    I tend to make sure I am there at the commissioners meetings and hopefully get my say one day.
    Sheriff Johnson, please know I have your back and will fight for you in anyway I can!
    Thank you and all your personal for what you do for our community.
    You are appreciated!

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