In a 2010 YouTube video Sheriff David Morgan says “do not vote for me” if “I go stupid” [sic] in talking about his pledge to never run for a third term as Sheriff of Escambia County. In my opinion that statement in itself is shocking and begs the question as to why anyone would doom the possibility of a 3rd term in office? However it is not this statement but the story told before it (in the widely shared video) that is more damaging. It sets the tone for his latter statement and is relevant in the present election. Why, because the former speaks directly to the current controversy over the management of LET (Law Enforcement Trust) funds. Which includes the distribution of “drug money” (as the Sheriff calls it) to various questionable organizations.
Several minutes prior to the “do not vote for me” line (in the longer of 2 online videos) Morgan tells a story of how he oversaw large amounts of money during his tenure at a previous position. He spoke of signing off on a half million dollars or more in checks. He talked about how the money was disbursed at such a rate (for various programs) that Morgan himself no longer provided the level of scrutiny to what the money was being used for as he did early on. He said the money became monopoly to him and that this experience is the reason why he believed government officials (including himself) should be limited to 2 terms. He said that “(officials) lose touch with reality when you’re spending other people’s money.”
As we all know Sheriff Morgan is indeed running for a third term, thus back tracking on his 2010 pledge. The true irony is that Morgan has become the person he dreaded in the YouTube video, a government official detached from reality. According to recent revelations, Morgan has given more “drug money” (LET funds) away than any other Sheriff dating back to at least the year 2000. And much of that money has gone to organizations, such as the Pensacola Opera. This organization and many other LETF recipients do not fit the criteria to be eligible for such funds. Instead of making a concerted effort to spend all of the money with organizations that promote Drug Abuse Education, Drug Prevention, Crime Prevention or Safe Neighborhoods, he has opted to spend these funds in areas that do not contribute to the safety of this community. Why Sheriff Morgan? OurSheriff Morgan has absolutely lost touch with reality while giving away other people’s money to the “special interest” causes of a few.