By AUTUMN HUGHES
A enterprise proprietor’s feedback defending his enterprise dealings didn’t sit effectively with a Bradley County Fee member, who in flip defended the selections made by county officers.
Throughout the newest County Fee voting session, Commissioner Milan Blake referred to an article within the Dec. 1 version of the Cleveland Day by day Banner titled “Baggenstoss defends ankle monitor services.”
“I respect everybody’s proper to voice their opinion, specific their considerations,” Blake stated. “As a result of there’s the potential of future litigation, I gained’t go into the small print. … Nonetheless, I wish to say emphatically that I help the choice that the Legislation Enforcement Committee made, the selections that the Finance Committee made and finally the selections that this full fee made … I feel we did the precise factor.
“I additionally help the letter that we despatched to our legislative physique, outlining and expressing our considerations on how they went about (asserting and implementing the change to how the state’s ankle monitoring indigent fund is funded and administered), and if they’d an opportunity to do it once more, I’m positive they’d do it totally different,” Blake stated. “… What we did, we went by that — we went by that completely — and I don’t need folks to learn that (Banner) article and assume we simply ‘willy-nillyed’ that (challenge).”
A part of the problem with the fund change was when it was introduced to native governments: Bradley County was notified of the change in Could, whereas planning for the 2019-20 finances had been underway for the reason that finances preparation calendar was permitted in January.
Ankle monitoring garnered dialogue over the course of a number of months. The digital monitoring indigency fund for misdemeanor offenders requires counties to choose in and commit funding, which the state will match.
The Bradley County Fee permitted a $10,000 buy-in to the fund, in October.
In Could, commissioners heard from Scott Cranmore, vice president of Tennessee Recovery & Monitoring, who stated the corporate has labored diligently with the Tennessee Basic Meeting on Home Invoice 950 and Senate Invoice 806, which updates particular language for county judicial techniques to make use of GPS monitoring in lieu of incarceration. The laws creates within the state treasury a fund generally known as the digital monitoring indigency fund.
Cranmore stated the digital monitoring indigency fund was established in 2016 to assist pay to be used of monitoring gadgets for individuals who in any other case can’t afford it. He stated Tennessee Restoration & Monitoring is working to establish individuals who qualify for this system, and has a cooperative deal growing between the state and county.
The article Blake referred to final week was written after Tennessee Restoration & Monitoring President Andy Baggenstoss contacted the Cleveland Day by day Banner to defend himself and his firm in opposition to feedback made by Bradley County officers.
“I’ve been trustworthy with Bradley County since I’ve been right here,” Baggenstoss stated, including he needs to be part of the system and assist.
Baggenstoss’ considerations stem from September conferences of the Bradley County Fee and its Finance Committee, particularly the variety of offenders on ankle displays and drug patches.
On the Finance Committee meeting on Sept. 3, Baggenstoss spoke to the committee throughout discussions on opting into the state’s ankle monitoring indigent fund, which had been mentioned at size over the course of a number of conferences.
At the moment, he referred to 100 offenders “in all probability by the top of the day who shall be off displays” as a result of native funding had not been permitted for the opt-in to the state fund.
The subsequent week, throughout the county fee work session on Sept. 9, commissioners asked how many ankle monitors are in use in Bradley County.
Blake stated the Finance Committee heard there have been about 70.
Wealthy Kienlen, director of the Bradley County Misdemeanor Probation Workplace, stated there are about 78 on drug patches and 7 on ankle displays “and 6 of them are paying,” that means one is taken into account indigent and eligible for help from the fund.
Dialogue heated up on the subsequent week’s county fee voting session on Sept. 16, when Vice Chairman Thomas Crye stated the number of local offenders who can be impacted by the fund had fluctuated from what the Finance Committee had been instructed beforehand.
Crye stated the committee was instructed greater than 70 native offenders on ankle displays can be affected, then that quantity was diminished to eight, with a type of deemed indigent and eligible for help from the fund.
“There’s a big distinction in value to what we have been instructed,” Crye stated.
Chatting with the Banner, Baggenstoss stated he has invoices he submitted to the state to again up the numbers he cited to commissioners.
Commissioners voted in November to pursue the in-house option, with Bradley County Misdemeanor Probation in control of it. This system, which is slated to start in January 2020, will cost offenders $7.80 per day for ankle monitoring; indigent offenders’ monitoring can be paid from the state’s digital monitoring indigency fund.
Within the Dec. 1 article, Baggenstoss stated he’s contemplating authorized motion in opposition to Bradley County primarily based on his lease settlement with Misdemeanor Probation. He claims his contract said his firm was alleged to get 20% of lively case load for urine screens for monitored offenders every month.
“It didn’t occur,” he stated. He including a part of the lawsuit he may file facilities round not getting the required variety of urine scans.
Whereas the change in offender monitoring has impacted Baggenstoss’ enterprise in Bradley County and different counties, he stated he’s simply as involved his youngsters will imagine he’s dishonest, primarily based on feedback made in public conferences.
“I’ve been trustworthy with Bradley County since I’ve been right here,” Baggenstoss stated. He added, “I’ve spent 5 years of my life attempting to assist” victims, offenders and counties throughout Tennessee.
“I nonetheless need to do enterprise with Bradley County, even in any case this,” he stated. “I want all of them the most effective of luck.”