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Williams, for instance, has 39 jailers reassigned to such duties as guarding his office, or to administration, while the shortage of personnel in the jail is so great that the department paid $1.4 million in overtime last year.
"I don't think David Williams is ignorant," Johnson says. "He's intelligent in a lot of ways. But the last conversation I had with him, he was talking about renovating these Caprice patrol cars and getting into the details about the shocks and front bumpers and all.
"I'd like to see him concentrate more on where his people are, and how he's spending taxpayer money...I can tell you this, I don't think we're going to be buying any more Chevy Tahoes."
With names already starting to be floated to oppose Williams in 2000, others apparently have had their fill of toys and Tahoes too.
Two weeks ago, one of Williams' deputies reported that the department had finally picked up the Fords. And, if the opinion of a national expert on police cars is any judge, they'll work just fine. Says Jack Gray, chairman of the National Association of Fleet Administrators' law enforcement group, "The Ford is a fine vehicle. It serves law enforcement well.