Former deputy Kim Gilliam, who is running for sheriff, said Sheriff Bobby Grubbs assigned a county car to a secretary when she threatened to quit after county commissioners denied her a $100-a-month pay raise.
Grubbs said he temporarily assigned a Volkswagen Jetta, which deputies seized in a drug raid, to Pattimae Furry about a month ago, but it had nothing to do with Furry’s pay and she hadn’t threatened to quit.
Grubbs said Furry is allowed to use the car to get back and forth to work because she is transitioning to the role of a criminal analyst and subject to being “called out” from home during off hours to assist investigators.
He said Furry earns just over $1,700 a month. Furry received a 5 percent pay raise along with other employees for the new fiscal year, Grubbs said. He said he also tried to get her an additional $100 a month to compensate her for transitioning to the role of criminal analyst. When county commissioners denied that increase, Grubbs said, Furry took the news graciously.
Gilliam told it differently. “She threatened to quit,” Gilliam, who did not identify the source of her information, said. “They said ‘no, no, no, let’s wait and see what we can figure out.’ They came up with the car.”
“Completely false,” said Furry, who works in the criminal investigation division. “I have never given any type of ultimatums. I don’t know where this story has come from.
“I enjoy my job I am doing and I love the people I work for and with. The $100 - it’s not an issue at all. It would have been nice but it didn’t happen … maybe next year.”
Grubbs said sheriff’s officials started hearing a few days ago that county commissioners had been told Grubbs had assigned a car to a secretary who was unhappy about not getting a raise.
“I understand it was communicated to you and various news media sources, that the vehicle was a perk or a subversive attempt on my part to placate an employee who was disgruntled with her pay, and that I assigned the vehicle out of frustration with the court for rescinding a salary adjustment,” a letter to commissioners, signed by Grubbs, states.
“Unfortunately, this was communicated to you and to the media with maligned objectives … a closer look suggests this is a fabrication designed to cast a poor light on my administration …”
Gilliam said Furry is no criminal analyst and should not be assigned a car by Grubbs. “I’m not trying to stir things up but this is totally unethical,” Gilliam said. “She doesn’t take emergency calls. She’s not a deputy. They don’t call her in.”
The letter to commissioners said Furry has “had her secretarial duties slowly transitioned to the duties of a criminal analyst.”
Furry said she attended a weeklong introductory class on intelligence analyst training, put on the Department of Homeland Security, in March and will receive further training.
A criminal analyst’s duties include preparing detailed background portfolios on suspects and providing links to their associates, and their work can shorten the duration of complex investigations, the letter states.
Furry’s duties are about 30 percent secretarial and 70 percent analytical, and it is anticipated she will be “fully developed as a criminal analyst” within two years, the letter states.
“So she’s just had a week’s training and she’s a criminal analyst,” Gilliam said. “Why didn’t (commissioners) know anything about it? If they were so proud of her being a criminal analyst, why wasn’t it in the newspaper?”
Grubbs said Gilliam “hasn’t got her facts straight” on the car. “It’s not a violation of law, it’s not a violation of ethics, it’s not a violation of policy,” Grubbs said.
“This is not a permanent assignment so I don’t really understand why this is even an issue.”
Commissioner Steve Adams said he was concerned at the information initially presented to commissioners. “We were told that in lieu of a raise (Furry) was going to quit and a car was given to her,” Adams said.
Adams said he has talked with Chief Deputy Bobby Duvall about the matter and is satisfied “it didn’t happen like that. Everything I have heard has satisfied me up to this point.”