Ingham County budget shortfall agreement could benefit sheriff’s office

This story has been edited to correct a numerical error

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office is dealing with a $690,000 budget shortfall…that’s money that was originally expected to come in a deal with Wayne County to house some of their inmates but Wayne County pulled out of that agreement leaving Ingham County in a pinch.

However tonight, the Law and Courts committee reached an agreement that in the long run could benefit the sheriff’s office.

“They agreed to close the post but want to save the deputies positions,” said Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth.

After back and forth discussion of what the next step will be for the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office $690,000 budget shortfall…the Law and Courts Committee voted to close Post 4 at the county jail and save four law enforcement deputies from being laid off…something Sheriff Wriggelsworth feels is the right thing to do at this time.

“It means the shortfall still exists, it means for us at the sheriff’s office we’re going to have hopefully have four additional corrections deputies to again have that bench, have extra people,” Sheriff Wriggelsworth stated.

Sheriff Wriggelsworth says closing that section of the jail would get rid of 68 beds taking capacity from 512 down to 444.

According to Ingham County Commissioner Carol Koenig…financially it just makes sense.

“We decided that because we have a million dollars budgeted for overtime that maybe it was better to keep some deputies on see if the reduction in overtime basically made it a wash,” said Koenig.

A decision that Sheriff Wriggelsworth feels optimistic about.

“I was pleasantly surprised what happened at Law and Courts tonight…that’s huge for our organization. My hope is that we’re not able to save these deputies for 17 and then they’re going to get cut in 18,” Sheriff Wriggelsworth stated.

Another big item at tonight’s meeting was a review of the Michigan State Police report into the mishandling of evidence at the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office.

The Ingham County Prosecutor’s office says after the recent check of the evidence room, everything was accounted for, organized and they feel optimistic moving forward.

But, what’s the next step? The Prosecutor’s office is turning things over to the Attorney General’s office and that’s when it will be decided if any criminal charges will be filed.

“Due to the fact that the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office under Miss Whitmer was a complainant in this case…we did today late afternoon file a request for special prosecution that procedurally goes to the Attorney General’s office and then subsequently will then be referred to a prosecutor in another jurisdiction to review that,” said Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon.

We’ll continue to stay on top of these developing stories and be sure to keep you updated as soon as we learn more.

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