Hodgson’s failed money diversion?
In the same inefficient manner that Sheriff Thomas Hodgson failed to keep our community safe and has never been financially prudent with taxpayer funds, he was seemingly trying to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars to his political agenda to impress the then President Trump.
The Massachusetts State Auditor reported on 2/13/2019 that the “Bristol County Sheriff’s Office office did not transfer $348,922.00 of Federal reimbursements to the office of the State Treasurer, or account for them in the state’s accounting system for the fiscal year 2016.”
These monies that were paid to the sheriff for his contract with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should have been, by law, turned over to the state each year.
In response to this disclosure Sheriff Hodgson was quoted as saying “a mistake with the money was sent to an old bank account and his department thought the Immigration and Customs and Enforcement would fix it.”
Additionally, the recorded Bristol County Sheriff’s Office response in the Auditor’s report was the “BCSO official could not explain why the funds were not remitted to the Commonwealth in fiscal year 2016 when they were received.”
Rather interestingly, on March 2, 2017, Sheriff Hodgson contacted John A. Zadrony of the Execututive Office of President Trump by email and wrote “John I have also spoken with and forward my thoughts about a secure account for the detention monies that sheriffs generate through the immigration detention facilities.”
Query whether Hodgson was withholding the $348, 000.00 owed to the Massachusetts Treasury with the intention of providing it to some White House project, as he seemed to be indicating in the same email when he wrote “If this opinion I have proposed is a possibility, if not, I will have to look for some other creative way of securing the federal revenue so we can utilize it for the immigration initiatives.”
If the State had not audited the sheriff, and uncovered these unreported funds, would that money have been diverted to a “secure account” to be utilized for “immigration initiatives.”?
Though the money was ultimately sent to the State Treasury, after the report was issued, the fact remains that the explanation offered could possibly be interpreted as a cover-up.
And in the words of Sheriff Hodgson, who endlessly presents himself as a law and order official, “the law is the law and the rules are the rules,” except perhaps when applied to him.
Betty I. Ussach, Dartmouth
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