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Madison County sheriff announces jail chief retirement after months of uncertainty

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – It has been a turbulent two months at the Madison County Jail.

Chief Correctional Officer Steve Morrison’s contract with the county expired on October 11. Bolstered by lawsuits and death investigations, the Madison County Commission opted to not renew it.

Now nearly two months later, Morrison is retiring and correctional officer Troy Fulk has been named as the interim Chief Jail Commander, according to Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning.

In a letter from Morrison to Sheriff Dorning, Morrison stated, “It is with heavy heart that after 46 years in Law Enforcement and Government Service that I intend to retire effective 04 January, 2016.”

Morrison recently told WHNT News 19 that he was still a county employee working as a detention officer. Thursday afternoon, Dorning announced Morrison’s retirement via email.

Meanwhile, the Madison County Commission has an explicit plan for the future of the position.

“I want someone proven,” said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong. “I want someone that has experience in corrections, someone that has managed a jail with more than five, six hundred people in it and I want somebody that understands money management and how to manage employees, another team member to eliminate this adversarial relationship that has occurred.

“As far as the jail, I want to be sure that anybody that is a threat to society here in Madison County that they are in that jail, but understanding that their day in court will determine their guilt or their innocence, not what’s going on in that jail and I want to be sure that it’s safe,” said Strong.

Sheriff Blake Dorning first appointed Morrison to the role in 2010. He was one of two certified jail executives in the state.