Turman files ethics complaints

Published 1:37 pm Thursday, June 13, 2019

Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman has filed a complaint with the Alabama Ethics Commission against former Sheriff Dennis Meeks for how Meeks spent funds after the election in 2018.

Financial records provided by Turman show that Meeks used sheriff’s office funds to the tune of more than $6,200 to purchase items such as pencils, Frisbees, coloring books and other promotional items with his name on them.

Turman also says that $40,000 has not been located that came from the state for inmate feeding from December 2018-January 2019.

Turman joins eight other newly elected sheriffs across the state who say that their predecessors’ actions after the election has wreaked havoc on their operations.

Turman also said he planned to submit a report to local prosecutors.

Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell said Wednesday that nothing has been

turned over to his office as of Tuesday evening.

Merrell was out of the office on Wednesday.

Meeks contacted the Star-News on Thursday morning.


“I had done that every year for 12 years,” Meeks said. “I had ordered that stuff in August and probably got billed for it in September.”

Meeks said they were unable to go to the fair in 2018. However, he said he left behind the promotional materials that he has also included the DARE program on it.

“I understand (Turman’s) point, my name was on it,” he said.

Meeks said that he set up three separate accounts for inmate meals last September at CCB.

“Back in September, Gov. Ivey said sheriff’s could no longer take the money,” he said. “All the way back from September, all monies received went into those accounts.”


The following is a complete list of the infractions that Sheriff Turman has filed against Meeks:
1. From July 2015, to January, 2019, MEEKS enrolled several of his employees in Andalusia
Health and fitness. The total of these memberships came to an excess of $12,000. Andalusia
Health and Fitness is owned by MEEKS daughter and son-in-law, Michael and Toka Jackson.
2. In September, 2018, Dennis MEEKS purchased $6243.55 of promotional gifts from Coast to
Coast Distributors. These gifts bear his name as sheriff, clearly two and one half months
after he lost the election for sheriff. VIOLATION OF CODE OF ALABAMA TITLE 36-25-5
3. December, 2018, MEEKS gave all of the employees of the Sheriff's Department a Christmas
bonus, with the exception of one employee. This employee has audio recording of MEEKS
confronting him about why the employee and his mother did not vote for him. The
employee did receive a bonus after a Commissioner asked the incoming Sheriff to reimburse
the commission for the bonus. VIOLATION OF CODE OF ALABAMA TITLE 36-25-24
4. A formal inspection and audit of all Federal Government equipment on loan was inspected.
There was no accountability of any property. Most property was located and has since
been either secured or accounted for. The value of property still missing is $101,293.76.
Former Chief Deputy David ANDERSON was responsible for this property. Prior to the
change of office, Anderson affirmed that all property was accounted for to the Federal
Government Law Enforcement Support Program. A requirement of the program states: The
Covington County Sheriff's Department will maintain and enforce regulations and
procedures designed to impose adequate security and accountability measures for
controlled property to mitigate the risk of loss or theft.
Due to the actions from the prior administration, the Covington County Sheriff’s
Department is suspended for participating in the Law Enforcement Support Program.