GADSDEN Co., FL (WTXL) - Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young has been found in indirect criminal contempt.
According to court documents, Young released inmates from Jail through a "furlough program" without permission from courts.
Some of the inmates released, "...were ordered held pending the posting of bond and some to be held without bond." Documents say that others were being held in jail while waiting to be transported to the Department of Corrections.
The order was delivered Wednesday and Young is being told to pay a $500 fine.
Below is a statement from Sean Pittman, an attorney consulting with the Sheriff's Department:
We are surprised by Judge Collins' decision. After two days of testimony and exhibits, the state never established that Sheriff Morris A. Young intended to violate or actually violated a direct court order not to furlough inmates. What the trial did effectively demonstrate is that Sheriff Young and Gadsden County Jail administrators have followed the furlough process established by the previous administration. This same furlough process, which is currently practiced by other sheriff offices in North Florida, has not been placed under the same level of prosecutorial scrutiny in other counties.
We believe this kind of selective prosecution illuminates the political motivation behind the State Attorney's decision to continue this witch-hunt at the expense of taxpayer dollars. As such, the process will not end here. Sheriff Young will appeal the lower court's decision, and seek justice at the appellate level.
In the meantime, Sheriff Young will continue to focus on doing the job he was elected to do by the residents of Gadsden County.