State court judge denounces allegations of double dipping

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

Who's monitoring the company that monitors those sentenced to probation? It's one of many questions Augusta Commissioners asked State Court Judge Richard Slaby.

All went as schedule while commissioners approved changing the time of the commission meeting from 5 to 2pm and a new ethics policy. The vote on a 2.5 million dollar loan for Housing and Community Development was moved to next weeks committee meeting.

"I think we all want to make sure that we spend the money the way we need to spend it," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

State Court Judge Richard Slaby took the potem. "I'm trying to control my temper, but I'll tell you right now that I will not stand for that kind of an allegation," said Judge Slaby.

Things took an uphill swing once commissioners started talking Sentinel Probation Services. Lawsuit were mentioned accusations thrown and even a questioning of a state court judge.

"Do any either yourself or other judges have any personal, financial interest or gain in by employing Sentinel for probation services for Augusta Richmond County," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"For anybody to suggest that I have any interest in this company is totally unfounded. for anyone suggesting that any of the other judges have interest is totally unfounded," said Judge Slaby.

Commissioner Mason went on to say the reason he asked that was because those concerns were brought to him about the state court's 15 year relationship with company.

"It was a tough question but I had to ask him as respectfully as I could. They were rumors out there," said Commissioner Mason.

"I'm very much concerned about the way probationers are treated and the abuse that's happened there. They've put people in jail which puts the burden back on the taxpayers at 50 dollars a day," said Commissioner Donnie Smith.

After a tense back and forth session, a 7 to 3 vote gave Sentinel Probation another year to closely supervise offenders in Richmond County.

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