Madison County Sheriff Roy Klingler confirmed Tuesday his agency used fees charged to concealed weapons permit applicants to buy carpet, tile, guns and a car, among other items.
Responding to an IdahoReporter.com story, Klingler said his department followed the law.
“The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is and has always been dedicated to serving all the people of Madison County; this includes wise use of all monies,” he wrote.
The original story, published Monday, revealed Klingler’s office spent more than $60,000 on items unrelated to concealed weapons permit administration. The office spent more than $24,000 on tile and carpet for its office in 2011. A year later, Madison spent an additional $18,000 on carpet for a training room and office space.
The permit fees also funded a $750 bark purchase for a gun range, $2,339 for guns and $14,270 to purchase a Chevrolet Cruze for a civil deputy.
In a statement posted to Facebook Tuesday, Klingler defended the purchases.
“The amount of money accumulated from the portion of the permit that the Sheriff’s Office retains has taken over 6 years to accumulate and with these funds we have purchased the things mentioned to replace original flooring that was over 15 years old that we did not have other funds for and help with other areas that were in need along with a fingerprint machine and some security locks that weren’t mentioned,” he wrote.
He intimated critics had nefarious motives for questioning the expenses.
“This is all part of the hate campaign against government/Law enforcement and in this case more specifically me as the Sheriff,” he said.
Greg Pruett, president and founder of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, pushed back against Klingler’s post.
“The sheriff admits he used CWP funds to purchase items which had nothing to do with the CWP process,” Pruett told IdahoReporter.com “He proved exactly why this whole process is a scam on Idaho gun owners."
Pruett said Monday that concealed permit applicants shouldn’t serve as a “piggy bank” for sheriffs offices across the state.