LaPorte County Sheriff says denial of funding put jail at risk - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

LaPorte County Sheriff says denial of funding put jail at risk

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A "mini-riot" broke out in the LaPorte County jail Friday night and the Sheriff says it could have been avoided if the County Council approved funding for overtime.

The Council rejected Sheriff Michael Mollinhauer's request last week.

He says that forced him to close a wing of the jail and inmates are crowded and hostile.

He says not having the extra cash for staff is a big safety risk.

"They refused to give us one dime, knowing it would put this jail in jeopardy," says Mollenhauer.

Council Member Terry Garner says some of the council members have had a rocky relationship with the Sheriff for years.

He says the Sheriff spends money that isn't authorized.

"We're trying to get him to understand, as Sheriff, he doesn't have that right to spend money any way he wants to. It's the council that makes those decisions and that's where we're having our issue," says Garner.

Not all Council Members agree.

Lois Sosinski says upfront that her husband works for the Sheriff's Department, but she believes the funding for overtime is crucial for the jail.

She doesn't think the Sheriff's spent money without approval.

She says the battle between the Council and Sheriff needs to be put aside right now.

A public budget hearing is on October 9th.

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