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Sheriff removes state prisoners from jail

Harrison County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Eric Fisher informed the board of commissioners Monday that the county’s jail is no longer housing state prisoners.
Fischer was at the board’s regular meeting requesting $10,000 for kitchen supplies for the department.
‘Is there any truth to the rumor that all of the state prisoners have been moved out?’ Commissioner Terry Miller asked.
‘That’s what I’ve heard, but I’m not for sure,’ Fischer said.
At that point, about two hours into the meeting, Miller called for a break so Fischer could find out if the inmates were no longer at the jail.
When the meeting resumed, Fischer said he was told the prisoners were moved because of overcrowding. Fischer said the jail now has 165 inmates with a capacity of 152.
Commissioner James Goldman said each state prisoner, which numbered more than 20 at times, brought $36 into the county per day per prisoner.
Fischer said the prisoners were sent back to the Indiana Department of Corrections after the Clark County Jail declined the offer to take the prisoners.
As for the kitchen supply request, Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes made the motion to deny the request and recommended the department use the correct funding line for matching items.
In years past, the department paid for kitchen supplies out of the jail supplies line.
Fischer also reported to the commissioners that the department will have nine vehicles, plus another vehicle from the Milltown Police Department, in the county auction to be held Saturday, May 8, at 9 a.m. at the Solid Waste District facility located off Progress Boulevard in the industrial park north of Corydon.
In December, the commissioners, with a written letter, requested Sheriff G. Michael Deatrick retire 13 vehicles or provide justification for choosing less cars to be retired.
Vehicles in the auction include six Ford Crown Victorias, ranging from 2002 to 2005 models, a 2006 Dodge Charger, a 1999 Chevrolet Impala and a 2003 Ford Expedition. A 1999 Crown Victoria from planning and zoning also will be auctioned.
The public will be allowed to view the vehicles and all other items in the auction on Friday, May 7.
In other sheriff’s department matters Monday, the commissioners tabled a claim for tactical training for Officer John Britton, who is on administrative leave, until the sheriff gives information on when the training took place.
The invoice was dated March 25, but Goldman said the training could have taken place well before that.
‘I don’t know how you can be on administrative leave and be training at the same time,’ Goldman said. ‘It seems kind of odd to me.’
Britton was placed on administrative leave in September after the estate of his wife, Christine Britton, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Deatrick, the county commissioners and county council.
John Britton’s wife allegedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March 2009 at the couple’s home near Ramsey. Indiana State Police investigators said John Britton admitted leaving a handgun in the room when, during an argument, his wife threatened to shoot herself.

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