Reminiscent of a scene on the Christmas classic “Miracle on 34th Street,” three dollies holding 31,699 pages of documents were wheeled into fiscal court Tuesday by jail deputies and turned over to Magistrate Dickie Carter.

Carter had filed an open record request for all transactions over the past two years having to do with the commissary account at the jail. He was also handed a bill for $4,633 by jailer Phil Gregory for the copies (10 cents per copy) and the 40-plus hours it took to process his request, plus overtime. Because the request was submitted by Carter as an individual citizen and not part of the fiscal court, he is solely responsible for the costs, according to Gregory.

The commissary, or canteen, is where inmates can purchase personal hygiene items, snacks, paper, etc., with their own money. There is no cash allowed at the jail and all transactions are handled digitally by an outside agency. Funds collected can be used by the jail to purchase items that benefit the inmates.

According to Carter, he has been asking for the account records for years, but hasn’t received them.

One of the reasons Carter cited wanting to see the records was due to the 2015-16 Logan County audit, which stated under executive summery that the detention center did not have sufficient control or maintained proper records for the jail commissary fund. The audits overlapped and the 2015-2016 was almost exactly the same wording as the previous audit due to them being back to back. There were no findings of any theft or misappropriation of any funds at the jail.

Carter had given his open record request to Judge Executive Logan Chick at a previous court meeting asking him to give it to jailer Gregory. He had said he had submitted an open record request in the past, however, Gregory disputes Carter.

“For the record, you personally never gave me an open record request before, but I honored it,” said Gregory at Tuesday’s meeting. “It took 31,699 documents to satisfy your request. Your request almost shut our front office down. You put a hardship on the jail and its staff. We are trying to chase escapees and catch drugs coming into the jail and we have to put up with this?” said Gregory. “This is a personal vendetta.”

Carter told Gregory he shouldn’t have to file and open record request. “I’m a magistrate,” said Carter to Gregory.

“You sit up here and imply there is something wrong when you yourself have sat through two audits. I hope now you can see we have total transparency. You have slandered the jail and the staff. You don’t know anything about the operations at the jail,” Gregory said.

Gregory told Carter he followed his request to the letter. Carter disagreed saying Gregory had not followed his request to the letter because he was supposed to tell him if the request went over $20.

“I’m not sure I’m gonna pay it,” said Carter.

Magistrate Thomas Bouldin asked that the meeting continue because Carter’s request was a personal one and had nothing to do with county business.

“People that know me know my convictions. I have the best interest for the citizens in my district and all of Logan County. I am not on the court to pick on anyone. I am just trying to do my job as magistrate, which I was elected to do,” said Carter to the N-D& L on Wednesday, Sept. 27.