Escambia County, FL — Over the years, the Free Thought Project has reported on utterly asinine, brutal, insane, thieving, and murderous acts carried out by government officials from coast to coast. The list of bad politicians, police officers, and bureaucrats is as long as it is infuriating and mind-blowing. However, in all of the years we've been holding government accountable, we've never seen anything like this. In his last days in office, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan took $75,000 from taxpayers to commission a statue — of himself.
According to a report from Pensacola News Journal, the now-former sheriff is in hot water after it was discovered that he used $75,000 in taxpayer funds to commission the statue of himself from a company out of New York. The statue, which was complete shows Morgan in his sheriff's costume complete with his Air Force medals while he stands and salutes.
The current sheriff, Chip Simmons, referred to the debacle as a "brash narcissistic waste."
"You don't make a statue of yourself," Simmons said Wednesday. "And you don't use tax dollars to do it."
The sheriff also commissioned a second statue of Escambia County Lt. Jason Potts, a K-9 handler, and his dog. Apparently the sheriff had an affinity for the Lt. and decided to make a statue of him as well.
Simmons told reporters that the statue will not see the light of day and is currently looking for a local place to melt it down to possibly turn it into a bench or at least something that can be used other than a living memorial to a narcissistic sheriff.
"As soon as I found the paperwork, I instructed (ECSO risk manager) Marcus Faulkner to call the company and see if they could cancel this," Simmons said. "I instructed him to find out if the company could melt it down, make a bench out of it or if there was something that we could do with it."
"They said, no and that they couldn't cancel because it was already done," Simmons explained.
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The department originally thought they could possibly use the statues as generic memorials for fallen officers, but Morgan made sure to make that impossible as he had their names, "Potts" and "Morgan" inscribed on the chest plates.
Adding to the egregious act of using taxpayer dollars to commission a statue of himself and a friend, the sheriff lied about when it was ordered. Morgan told reporters that he ordered the statues two years ago as part as some memorial presentation but they were delayed due to covid. However, the News Journal obtained the original ordering documents and found that this was a lie.
Morgan's handwritten signature appears on a document specifying the terms of the deal with Randolph Rose Collection Design Studio for the statues. Directly next to his signature, Morgan handwrote the date "4/20/2020" and the words, "Good to go!"
When confronted about the issue, the sheriff stood by his decision and claimed that he commissioned the statue of himself for the citizens and fellow officers.
"I was the sheriff at the time," Morgan told the News Journal. "I think people may be wanting to make more of this than it really is. It's just a statue of me saluting the men and women of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office and the first responders that died on active duty. It's that simple."
Sure thing sheriff.
Though the sheriff used taxpayer money to have the statues created, there are no plans in the works to have him pay it back or to be held accountable for taking it.