A day after abruptly turning in his resignation, the former Baylor County Sheriff speaks out.
His resignation stated budget issues, as well as, being threatened by a county commissioner.
After six months in office, former Sheriff David Biggerstaff resigned, stating he wanted a competitive salary for his performance and for his staff.
“I presented a graph and I have that graph here of the sheriff’s salary of five counties that surround Baylor County and the average salary of those five sheriff’s in those counties was $38,323.
Now I can’t say they all have benefits. I know that some do. I knew what the salary was here. I knew it was $27,400. I knew there were no benefits,” Biggerstaff said.
Biggerstaff said since he’s been in office he’s brought in almost $22,000 by doing more traffic control work.
He said that money could go to him and his staff.
“The money is there. And you know, the money goes into the general fund which is understandable, but you know, there is also officer safety equipment. We need up to date body armor. We need spotlights on our new pickups,” said Biggerstaff.
Another concern Biggerstaff had was being responsible for a cold case that took place over 20 years ago in Seymour.
“There was a conviction on a Melton.The murder in Mabelle. Florence Martin. And they got a conviction on a cold case through DNA. And all of the evidence, all the evidence, the literature, the court records, the documentation, the clothing, I believe the murder weapon. Everything was in one cell locked up,” Biggerstaff said.
The cold case evidence is why Biggerstaff said he was so reluctant to give up the jail keys after he was threatened by a commissioner.
“On January 11th, I was approached by a commissioner who came to my office, shut the door, and said I need those keys to the jail. I said, ‘Sir, I don’t think I can give you those keys.’ He said, ‘Well, you’re gonna give me the (expletive) keys or I’m taking them.’ I said, ‘Sir, I can’t give you those keys.'”
Biggerstaff said he went to the county attorney after the incident.
He said the commissioner, the county judge and himself were all contacted to meet with the county attorney who had prepared affidavits for the commissioner and the county judge to sign saying they had possession of the jail keys for one week.
As far the money, the baylor county judge sent a statement saying the budget always has money for training and safety equipment.
He said it’s up to the sheriff to utilize and manage those funds.
Baylor County Judge Rusty Stafford said they are looking into procedures for the appointment of an interim sheriff by the commissioners court.