Commission, sheriff exchange jabs over Fulton County Jail

The embattled Fulton Sheriff and county leaders intensified their sparring over jail conditions and how much money it may cost to take corrective action. 

On Wednesday, Pat Labat showed he was still unhappy about a board meeting that happened two weeks ago. 

"I started to walk out of that meeting," Labat said. "I am not going to be the target for someone's political aspirations."

No name was mentioned, but Labat and member Bob Ellis had sharp words over some of the sheriff's requests for additional funds. 

The Rice Street jail can aptly be described as a money pit.

Aside from the condition of an old building, the current administration has taken hits for even basic maintenance and staff operations.

One inmate, LaShawn Thompson, was found deceased in his cell. He had countless insect and bedbug bites. 

In briefings over the past couple of weeks, Labat reported deputies are periodically conducting welfare checks of everyone housed on a given day. 

Labat requested and received authorization to hire a health firm at a cost of $4.5 million to come in and take care of the prisoners. The vote followed sharp debate about prisoner care, jail upkeep, and staff retention. 

"I will show you my resume," Labat said, "I have been doing this for 32 years. I am really, really tired of coming in here begging for money."

The jail opened in 1989.