JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A city councilman is questioning some employee salaries at JSO.
For weeks now, Sheriff John Rutherford has pleaded for more money in his budget. He says he needs it to save jobs and programs. We uncovered the sheriff was approved to spend more than 170 thousand dollars last month on ovens, bikes and golf carts. A spokesperson for his office said, "We are not commenting on your story."
Spending money isn't the only problem the Councilman John Crescimbeni has with the sheriff's budget. "The sheriff also has a lot of what I consider administrative overheads. Three or four dozen of his people make over 100 thousand dollars. That's the high end management roles. I'm not sure that's necessary," said Crescimbeni.
Crescimbeni also gave Action News a chart showing the sheriff budgeted for 723 civilian jobs next year. Action News did some digging and found there's an overlap in departments with some of these jobs. Both JSO and the City of Jacksonville each have a separate budget, IT and human resources department. It had us asking, couldn't they consolidate?
We did find a special committee made that same recommendation last year. Here are the numbers. JSO has 30 people in the HR Department. There are 55 people in the city's. JSO has 40 IT employees. The city has 136. JSO's budget department has 16 employees. That's compared to the city's nine.
The councilman admits JSO is a big part of the city budget. "Thirty-eight percent or 345 million dollars goes to the sheriff. That's a huge chunk of cash," said Crescimbeni.
But he also knows people in our community are doing less with less. "I think they believe the city government, including the sheriff, should also be asked to makes those choices," said Crescimbeni.
A spokesman for the mayor's office says they are open to looking at consolidation. City council has to approve the mayor's budget by October 1st.