A former Escambia County Sheriff commissioned a bronze, life-size statue of himself and left taxpayers with the $75,000 bill.
In documents obtained by Channel 3, the plan was to have a statue of former Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan, displayed at the memorial in front of the Sheriff’s Office.
But current Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons says that’s not going to happen.
“I have no intention of putting the statue of the former sheriff in front of this building or anywhere in this building,” Simmons said.
The life-size statue depicts Morgan in his sheriff uniform while standing with a salute.
A purchase order from Randolph Rose collection in New York shows it’s one of three statues the former sheriff ordered in April of 2020.
Copies of the checks paying the $75,000 bill show the money came from the Sheriff’s Office general fund account.
‘You don’t typically make a statue of yourself, and have the taxpayers pay for it,” Simmons added. “I think it’s a bit of a waste of money. That’s why I tried to cancel it whenever I first found it. I think it’s a bit brash. I think it has an air of narcissist to it.”
Taxpayers Channel 3 spoke with agree.
“After learning that it was taken from the County money from the sheriff itself, I think that’s a little excessive,” Bobby Spaeth of Gulf Breeze said.
A statue of former Escambia County Lt. Jason Potts and a K-9 were also created.
Sheriff Simmons says those statues are generic enough, that they may still be displayed.
As for the recreation of former Sheriff Morgan, it’s being held in storage for now.
“He was irresponsible. He was our sheriff for so long so he’s knows what’s going on in our County and for him to do something like that is just selfish.,” Marquita Woodroof from Pensacola said. “The money is spent and that’s just what it is. It’s wasted.”
Sheriff Simmons told Channel 3 he only learned of the statues earlier this year and tried to cancel the order, but was too late.
“Maybe we can melt it down and make use of it. But at this point that statue is not going to be erected here at the Escambia Co. Sheriff’s Office,” Simmons said.
Channel 3 reached out to former Sheriff David Morgan multiple times Wednesday, but have not received a response.