Sheriff’s credit card use prompts policy review

Published 1:10 pm Friday, August 22, 2008

Sheriff Abril was not present Monday due to a prior commitment and Chief Deputy Tony Robertson sent a letter just prior to the meeting asking that the agenda item be postponed. Commissioners decided against the request and discussed items in their packets.

Commissioner Tom Pack put the item on the county&squo;s agenda Monday and said the county doesn&squo;t have a stand alone policy for credit cards and travel and suggested implementing policies just so it&squo;s clear to employees.

Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson says the credit card issue is addressed in the travel policy and rental vehicles are not authorized without county manager approval. Travel is also to be approved by the county manager, he said. Every employee signs the county policy, but Chief Deputy Robertson said that Abril probably did not know he was violating any policy and said employees sign the agreement when hired, but may not be aware of the specifics.

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Pack said a subsection of the policy was violated by Abril and it would be easier if the county had a stand alone policy. Pack also questioned Abril reimbursing the county with the account that includes drug seizure money. He asked what the guidelines are on expenditures of that money and Whitson said those are set by the U.S. Marshal&squo;s Service. Whitson was directed to get those guidelines and report back for the county&squo;s next meeting on Sept. 8.

Robertson said Abril was in New Jersey serving as the grand marshal and representing Polk County in a Peruvian parade when he rented a car. Abril voluntarily turned in the credit card to the county manager on Aug. 12, according to Whitson.