Public furor questioning the need for, and financial oversight within, the Sheriff’s Office has died down. But the issues haven’t.
John Kromer, outsider candidate to replace Sheriff John Green next year, will run on an abolish-the-office platform, despite Committee of Seventy policy director Ellen Mattleman Kaplan noting a City Charter change proposed was “dead on arrival for political reasons.”
When City Controller Alan Butkovitz launched an “unprecedented” forensic audit after a “number of red flags suggested a heightened risk for improprieties” amid accusations of reported stonewalling, Green postponed his retirement. “We’re getting the information we ask for,” said Butkovitz, noting that Green came in for a meeting Nov. 1, “and I don’t think we’ve dealt with him personally before that.”
Butkovitz couldn’t guesstimate the timeline for an audit looking at internal financial practices, including proceeds from foreclosures and Sheriff’s Sales.
City Hall remains concerned with overtime costs. Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Everett Gillison expects to launch a pilot program by year’s end in which the prison system transports some prisoners to the courthouse. Currently, sheriff’s officers transport from cell to courtroom and back. The shift is designed to enable sheriff’s officers to focus on zone-courtroom presence.
“It will help with overtime costs and courtroom efficiency,” Gillison said. “The sheriff’s been good about collaborating.”