Ex-sheriff paid fine to ethics commission

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 31, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Former Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell has paid $5,000 to the Mississippi Ethics Commission to settle a complaint regarding his involvement with a telecom company servicing the Adams County Jail.

Ferrell, who left office in December 2003 after the election of current Sheriff Ronny Brown, served on the board of Evercom starting in December 2002.

&uot;We’re aware (Ferrell) received at least $5,000 in compensation from the company while he was sheriff,&uot; said Scott Rankin, director of the Ethics Commission.

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&uot;Under state law, you can’t be an officer of the board&uot; of a company contracting with your agency, Rankin said.

The commission filed the complaint against Ferrell in February following a December 2003 newspaper article in which Ferrell mentioned serving on the board of Evercom, which provided telephone services for inmates.

&uot;That’s the first information we had of it,&uot; Rankin said.

Ferrell said the commission has barred him from discussing the case, which has been closed by the commission.