Is the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners Responsible for the Sheriff?

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The question is, is the Board of Commissioners responsible for the actions of the sheriff?  Does the board have oversight responsibility?  I am pretty sure they do have budget responsibility.  The board can sue and be sued.  Statutes relating to county officers begin here.

The duties of sheriff are poorly defined (unspecific), described only as “30-10-516. Sheriffs to preserve peace – command aid.”  Sheriffs have considerable discretion.  Unlike commissioners, statutes do not specifically say they can be sued; in other words, sovereign immunity seems to apply.

A sheriff has complete hire and fire authority of undersheriffs and deputies.  Any official capacity lapse by subordinates is the responsibility of the sheriff.

Nothing in statute absolves the sheriff from public corruption (e.g., falsification of public records) violations.

The Board of Commissioners is responsible for the budget and in this respect has authority over the sheriff.

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