Report: Jail Funds Used to Buy Lingerie, Clothing, Bridesmaid Dress

Updated 2 years ago

Thousands of dollars in jail funds have been misused in Washington County, according to a report released by a lawyer for the county. According to the report, more than $7,000 from the Inmate Benefit Account were used on personal items. The report claims an employee bought bras, computer equipment, food, clothing, and more. The Inmate Benefit Account is supposed to be used only for things that directly benefit the inmates. According to the report, an employee purchased ” ruffled velour top, velour bustiere top, lace-cuff mesh top, lace sleeve blouse, bridesmaid dress, layered look dress, Santa Baby novelty plunge bra, 4 sateen push-up plunge bras, ruffle-trim leather motorcycle jacket, twill safari jacket, corduroy blazer, beaded necklace, rosette-trim halter dress, and ankle-length strapless dress.” The report claims the employee “attempted to justify the purchase of these items from the Inmate Benefit Account, stating that it was necessary for her to be dressed properly at work, and that her work directly benefited the inmates.” According to Peter Marchesi, who wrote the report, Sheriff Donnie Smith contacted him in late 2012, asking him to investigate whether funds were being used properly. Marchesi says he went to the Washington County Commissioners Office on November 29,2012 and was given a large box of documents. ” The documents related to expenditures from the Inmate Account from the present time dating back to approximately 2006. Based upon my review of those documents, I had a number of questions regarding expenditures from the Inmate Account, particularly during the year 2012,” stated Marchesi in the report. Marchesi also looked into random expenditures from 2011. Machesi has suggested that if a check is made payable to a particular person, that person not sign their own check, avoiding the appearance of any impropriety. The second suggestion he made, according to the report, is that the ” jail adhere to a fairly strict definition regarding what expenses “directly benefit” the inmates.There is a meeting in Machias on Thursday to discuss the report and misused money.Sheriff Donnie Smith released the following statement, ” I was not advised by the county that they were going to release the report of my investigator before the hearing. I have suspended two employees and asked for the termination per this report.”


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