Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County Sheriff Nugent returns $2M in unspent funds to county

BROOKSVILLE — 'Tis the season for giving — and returning.

In that spirit, Sheriff Richard Nugent is giving back to Hernando County government $2 million in unspent funds from his 2008-09 budget.

That's about $540,000 more than Nugent had projected to return and the most he has sent back in at least four years.

The department wound up spending less than expected for salaries, benefits, overtime and fuel said Chief Bill Kicklighter. The sheriff also meant to be conservative in his estimate to the County Commission on how much would money would come back, he said.

"The last thing we wanted to do was give them a number and then have less to give them," Kicklighter said.

The department benefitted from a year without a major storm or hikes in gas prices, he said.

"That was the big key," he said. "As you're approaching the end of the budget year, you're still in the heart of hurricane season, so we were very fortunate."

The larger figure means the sheriff's actual expenses for the year came in at $30.6 million — 3.1 percent less than 2007-2008. It's the first time since at least 2005 the department has spent less than the previous year.

The money goes back into the county's general fund.

If the $2 million figure seems familiar, it's because that happens to be the same amount that County Administrator David Hamilton asked Nugent to cut from his 2009-10 budget request of $33 million. When factoring in the addition of the Emergency Management Department last year, Nugent's request amounted to a zero percent increase from the previous year.

So Nugent balked, saying Hamilton's requested cut would be too deep.

The sheriff proposed to use $1.3 million in his carry-forward money — making for a $700,000 cut — which would have been able to fund the DARE drug prevention program and at least some of the community substations.

After much back and forth between the commission and the sheriff, commissioners ultimately settled for a compromise budget of $31.9 million for next year. That was a little over $1 million less than what Nugent requested and $350,000 more than what he expected to spend this year but not enough to pay for the DARE program, five community substations and several other programs and positions.

When asked if Nugent was tempted to ask the commission if he could keep at least some of the extra $540,000 to put toward some of the cut programs, Kicklighter said no.

"He stood before the board and the public and agreed to make the cuts, so he wasn't going to go back on his word," he said.

Commissioner Jeff Stabins, whose criticism of Nugent's budget request made for some tense exchanges between the two men last September, said he was happy about the additional money coming back from Nugent this year and especially pleased that the department's expenditures decreased from last year.

"That is excellent news, but it's a trend that must continue," Stabins said.

Nugent deserves credit even without a storm or spiking gas prices, Chairman Dave Russell said.

"That just goes to show you that the sheriff's done a great job at budgeting and demonstrating quite a bit of fiscal restraint," he said. "Controlling overtime is a significant accomplishment. That's tough in departments with emergency response."

Constitutional officers typically give back at least some money at the end of the year. This year, for example, the tax collector will give back $2.4 million; the property appraiser, about $315,000; the clerk of court, about $301,000; and the supervisor of elections, about $7,500.

Tony Marrero can be reached at tmarrero@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

Hernando County Sheriff Nugent returns $2M in unspent funds to county 12/03/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 4, 2009 6:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  2. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  3. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  4. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  5. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017

    News

    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion."