June 26, 2024

Sheriff Randy "Country" Seal Reports on Tenure: A Legacy of Fiscal Responsibility and Legal Compliance

A Message from Washington Parish Sheriff Randy "Country" Seal 

Washington Parish, LA - Sheriff Randy "Country" Seal is proud to report the status of the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office (WPSO) at the conclusion of his tenure. As of this date, there are no pending or threatened matters of litigation or regulation that could present a materially adverse effect or threat to the Agency. Furthermore, there are no unresolved matters of litigation against the Agency or any of its officers, deputies, or employees, and no unpaid legal obligations. The incoming Administration will inherit a clean slate of lawsuits, with the exception of one matter conditionally dismissed, pending final dismissal order.

Upon taking office, at least 17 federal lawsuits were pending against the Agency and its personnel, along with an indeterminate number of state court liability claims. Under Sheriff Seal's leadership, all these matters were resolved within the first term, with the exception of one claim dismissed in the second term. Lawsuit and claim frequency were reduced by more than two-thirds from the previous Administration.

The Agency is fully compliant with all loan covenants, contractual obligations, vendor obligations, and other legal relationships, including all matters with federal, state, and local government entities. There are no outstanding public records requests or subpoena responses. Comprehensive general liability insurance is in place for the incoming Administration, along with health and benefit insurance for all deputies. Intergovernmental Agreements and Mutual Aid Agreements with adjoining agencies are in place, ensuring seamless interagency operations. Issues related to Agency real estate titles have been corrected from the previous Administration.

Parish Government is currently funding jail operations at a significantly higher level than under the previous Administration, pursuant to its constitutional obligation. Additional funding for these mandated expenses is available. Comprehensive operational and employment policies and procedures are in place, ensuring constitutional compliance on all fronts. Surplus unclaimed and abandoned property disposal policies are established, as are policies regarding court-ordered seizures and property tax sales. An accurate inventory list and a complete financial accounting have been provided to the incoming Administration.

Fiscal Achievements and Operational Efficiency

Sheriff Seal proudly announces that as he concludes his tenure, the general fund balance stands at an unprecedented $5.4 million, marking the highest in Washington Parish's history. It is important to note that $800,000 of this total was provided by the CARES Act, while the remaining $4.6 million was accumulated through stringent fiscal management, disciplined budgeting, and operational efficiency.

Upon taking office in July 1 2008, Sheriff Seal inherited an agency burdened with $1.95 million in debt and an additional $382,268 in civil penalties owed to the IRS from the previous administration. Through adept negotiations with the IRS and strict adherence to legal and administrative reforms, these penalties were resolved, steering the agency away from impending bankruptcy and setting a foundation for its financial recovery and growth.

Today, Sheriff Seal departs from the WPSO with a remarkable legacy of fiscal prudence and operational enhancements. Under his leadership, the organization has achieved a debt-free status, completed multiple clean audits, introduced a new fleet of deputy units, and provided updated equipment. Additionally, personnel have received consistent annual raises since 2018. In preparation for the transition, the Seal Administration initiated the bidding process for inmate meals and pharmacy services for the incoming sheriff.---

All Finance records can be downloaded by following this link: https://www.wpso.la.gov/public-affairs-information

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