Marshall County bank sends unused jail food money back to court

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. - Former sheriff Scott Walls is going to court to try and keep thousands of dollars' worth of leftover jail food money.

On Monday,  Citizens Bank and Trust filed paperwork and sent a cashier's check for $23,447.76 to court.

Under Alabama law, a sheriff is allowed to keep any unused money from the fund to feed inmates.

Walls is suing the state over unused jail food money.

"I'm not so much worried about the old administration anymore. It's a new day," Marshall County sheriff Phil Sims said.

Sims is beginning his second month in office, but he's named as a defendant in his role as the sheriff in the newest filing in a civil case related to excess jail food money.

"I guess it goes back to the 1920s and 1930s, where the sheriff was in charge of feeding the inmates," Marshall County commission chairman James Hutcheson said. "And if he had money leftover, it went in his pocket."

In this case, the money didn't quite go in Walls' pocket, but instead into three bank accounts at Citizens Bank and Trust. Sims defeated Walls in the June primary. But according to a court filing, on September 12th, Walls set up three demand deposit accounts in the bank totaling $23,447.76, three months before his term was up.

"I have not spoken to sheriff Walls since he left office. No sir," Hutcheson said.

Unlike a typical checking account, a demand deposit account is one in which the customer can withdraw money at any time without warning and with less than seven days notice. On Monday, the bank submitted a cashiers check for the total, along with a filing, asking the circuit court to decide who has claim to the money.

By submitting the check and the filing, the bank is asking the court to be released of liability, that it pay back any court and attorney fees and determine what happens to the money now. Walls and his attorney are also suing the state comptroller's office, arguing that until the law is changed, he should get to keep the leftover money.

Several Alabama lawmakers have pledged to take up the issue when they head to Montgomery next month.

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