More missing items raise old questions

Published 8:13 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

The devil is in the details. How often have each of us heard this statement?

Yet, the Selma Police Department’s leadership of two years ago, Chief Jimmy Martin, and his crew certainly did not pay attention to details when it let two vehicles get away from them. Now the current police chief, William Riley III, likely will have to fork over $8,600 from an already strapped budget to make up for the mistake.

Several people must be held accountable for these actions. The former chief stands among them. But, also, what happened to the legal department in this mess? Why weren’t the proper papers filed at the right time for the police department to take over the vehicles and cash in the case of the two convicted for drug crimes. Maybe again all this boils down to improper bookkeeping on the part of the police department. After all, the city’s attorney can’t file what he doesn’t know to do.

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We’re glad Riley has instituted some policies that will help the police department keep up with cash and seized material goods. That’s a step in the right direction — a mark of professionalism.

But the events of the last week have us wondering how many more clerical errors, lapsed bookkeeping and sheer lack of attention to details in the last four years have the city teetering on another contempt of court citation.

Now, our attention turns to more than $3,000 cash reported missing from the evidence safe and reported nearly two years ago. What happened to that case?