A blog reader was talking to me recently about the June 9 and June 13 posts (scroll down to see them).
His simple question was "Why won't the Sheriff provide mileage information for the county vehicles in the Sheriff's department?"
My simple answer was I don't know. The Sheriff has never said why his mileage records, unlike those of every other county vehicle, are a county secret.
While my friend thought that the Sheriff's refusal might be connected to problems with the mileage records and gasoline usage, I pointed out that the reason might be as simple as just showing that the Sheriff's Department doesn't answer to anyone.
Or maybe it's because Sheriff Otto Purkey has been told by his brother County Mayor David Purkey not to respond since the Sheriff's vehicle list (and any mileage records that the Sheriff would provide) would automatically include County Mayor David Purkey's vehicle (and mileage). [Note: The Finance Director took the Sheriff's asset listing and did provide the mileage for the Mayor's car in one year but reported nothing for all other Sheriff's vehicles.]
Or maybe it's something else altogether.
Now for the humor (and irony) in all this stonewalling. At the same time that I asked for mileage records here in Hamblen County, I also asked by phone for the same records from a Sheriff's Department in middle Tennessee.
After a week, a follow-up e-mail, and a follow-up phone call, the Sheriff of Hamblen County responded: "NO."
Within 24 hours, a Sheriff's Department in middle Tennessee sent me a complete list of all their vehicles and the mileage for each one.
So why is it that the Hamblen County Sheriff won't provide mileage information just once-a-year? What would that information show?