For Immediate Release
Jan. 10, 2018
Scott Burnett, the chair of the Jackson County Legislature, Sheriff Mike Sharp, and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on Wednesday called for Jackson County Executive Frank White to reinstate a high-ranking county finance official who was placed hours earlier on leave for refusing to violate Jackson County ordinances.
The finance official refused to use COMBAT funds to pay county officials, including Frank White and members of his executive staff. To do so, the finance official stated, would be “an unlawful act” and violate a newly approved county ordinance placing COMBAT under the prosecutor’s office.
“We are imploring Jackson County Executive Frank White and Caleb Clifford, his chief of staff, to immediately reinstate this official who was only trying to follow the law,” Burnett, Sharp and Baker said in a written statement issued today.
Baker added, “You have no authority to harm public servants who come to this courthouse to do the real hard work of this county. They are not political footballs.”
Baker, Sharp and Burnett also asked Frank White’s administration to cease all disciplinary actions against any county public servants because they are trying to follow the law. They stated they are concerned because other about other county employees being threatened with discipline.
On Dec. 28, 2017, the Legislature overrode White’s veto of Ordinance 5061, which places day-to-day supervision of COMBAT under the prosecutor’s office. But White has refused to follow that law.
In an email Wednesday morning to Frank White and his executive staff, Deputy Director of Finance Scott Jacoby stated he would not process payroll for individuals who were scheduled to be paid with COMBAT dollars because those payments were ordered by the White administration after the Legislature clearly established Ordinance 5061 as county law on Dec. 28, 2017.
“Associates should not have to work in a hostile environment with fear of disciplinary action taken upon them because they are unwilling to perform an unlawful act,” Jacoby wrote in his email.
Two hours later he was placed on leave.
See Jacoby's email attached.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile: (816) 674-3954