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Lee County Commission chair and sheriff to meet about unpaid equipment bill

How $18,000 in video equipment at the Lee County Jail will be paid for is up in the air

Rick Muggridge

Rick Muggridge

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Reggie Rachals

LEESBURG — Tentative plans have been made for Lee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Rick Muggridge, along with County Attorney Jimmy Skipper, to meet with Lee Sheriff Reggie Rachals to discuss unpaid invoices related to the county jail’s new camera system.

The three had been expected to meet Friday on the matter. According to Muggridge, however, the group was unable to get together Friday to discuss the invoices, which totaled $18,340.97 for digital video recording (DVR) equipment as part of an upgrade to the jail’s camera system this summer.

Muggridge said that he has reached out to Rachals through emails in order to plan a meeting later in the week, possibly Wednesday or Thursday.

“I’d like to see resolution to this issue,” Muggridge said.

The meeting stems from events that unfolded last week when County Manager Ron Rabun informed county commissioners that his office had received the invoices and that unless he was compelled to do otherwise, he would not authorize payment since the expenditure was not included in the sheriff’s budget.

“I need to bring (the invoice issue) to you to tell you that we haven’t paid it and I’m not going to pay it until we figure out how to pay or who’s going to pay it,” Rabun said. “We haven’t figured out a solution yet.”

The board did not take action at its work session Tuesday regarding the invoices. Muggridge said he felt that the board needed to stand behind its commitment to honor the budget as it was approved.

“I support a hard line in regard to the budget,” Muggridge said. “I think it’s incumbent upon us to live within the budget we’ve set.”

When contacted last week, Rachals said he said did not want to use money from the sheriff’s drug forfeiture account to pay the invoices — as had been suggested by Rabun — and felt as though the county should help pay the invoices. He also said he was willing to meet again with Muggridge and Rabun to further discuss the matter.