LANCASTER - Garrard Fiscal Court avoided a potential showdown with Sheriff Ronnie Wardrip on Tuesday when it reversed itself and voted to allow Wardrip to keep $12,125 in excess funding so that he might buy weapons and other equipment for his department.
At last month's meeting, the magistrates rejected Wardrip's request to use the money to buy up to half a dozen new .40-caliber handguns to match those used by Kentucky State Police and other departments.
On Tuesday, Wardrip asked that the court reconsider its unanimous vote. When the magistrates declined, the sheriff told them they were violating their contract with him to provide transportation for prisoners to jails outside Garrard County, and that they would need to find other means to do so on July 1.
The contract, he said, had been agreed to during budget negotiations in March 2003, and allowed him to keep any excess funds for use at his discretion.