DECATUR — The Macon County Board approved nearly $100,000 donated by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to the sheriff’s office Thursday, its first meeting since Buffett was appointed sheriff. 

The donations were:

  • $57,455.40 to move the sheriff’s office records clerk from part-time to full-time for the remainder of the fiscal year, which goes until Dec. 1, and for the next two years;
  • $21,074 donation to purchase a new 2016 Chevrolet Impala to be used for civil process purposes in the sheriff’s office
  • $12,000 donation to purchase up to ten new ballistic vests to be worn by newly hired uniformed sheriff’s deputies
  • $7,966.95 for the purchase of three correctional/jail medical beds and two correctional/jail safety restraint chairs

In addition, the board approved in-kind donations from the Buffett Foundation totaling $236,000 for consultants who will assess various aspects of the Macon County Jail, including its policies and mental and medical health protocol, and provide assistance. 

Buffett, a 62-year-old philanthropist and son of multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett, was named sheriff Sept. 15 after former Sheriff Thomas Schneider retired, citing stress and health-related reasons. His donations are the latest in  tens of millions of dollars' in gifts to the Decatur area in recent years, many of them focused on helping law enforcement.

The board also approved the appointment of Laura Zimmerman to fill out the rest of the board term of Jon Baxter, who died last month. The term will run until next fall.

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Staff Writer

Government-watchdog reporter for the Herald & Review.

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