Sheriff’s office turnover rises to 95 percent

Published 5:50 pm Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Polk County Finance Office, which maintains employment records, cannot say if the employees were fired or resigned, only that the employment has been terminated.

This past May, county commissioners raised concerns over the operations at the sheriff&squo;s office, including what was then an employee turnover rate of 78 percent since Polk County Sheriff Chris Abril took office in December, 2006. The turnover rate is calculated by the number of employees that have been fired or quit the office.

Since Abril&squo;s swearing in, there have been 36 employees who were fired or resigned. The sheriff&squo;s office currently has 38 positions.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Hill was hired under the late Sheriff Boyce Carswell on May 20, 1991 and worked under both Sheriff David Satterfield for his eight years in office and Sheriff Chris Abril since he won the office.

Hill began his sheriff&squo;s office employment as a deputy and rose to a major under Abril. Hill was a captain and then a major, but earlier this year was given the duty of jail administrator.

The change was technically a demotion, although his pay was not decreased, according to county officials.

Kempster was a jailer throughout his employment with the sheriff&squo;s office.

Jackson was hired by the sheriff&squo;s office this year and held the rank of lieutenant.

Jackson spurred some controversy earlier this year when a deputy wrecked a vehicle and Jackson told news crews that the high mileage on the county vehicle could have been the cause and the sheriff&squo;s office has many high mileage patrol cars.

Gregg served as a deputy for the few months of his employment, but previously worked with the county communications department and with emergency services.

It is unknown who will take over the jail administrator duties following Hill. Abril did not return a phone message by press time yesterday.