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Oklahoma Sheriff tries to explain mysterious 90 day vacation in broken-down motorhome…

Last week, we told you about the curious case of Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney.

At the time, the only thing we really knew was that Sheriff McKinney stopped showing up to work for almost 90 days as he battled both personal and canine health issues while living in a broken-down motorhome in a gravel parking lot in Alabama.

This past Monday, the Stephens County Board of Commissioners was supposed to discuss the Sheriff's absence but had to postpone because one of the commissioners was on vacation, probably stuck on a broken-down houseboat off the coast of Louisiana.

Although the Board of Commissioners didn't discuss Sheriff McKinney's fate, the Sheriff did talk at length to the Duncan Banner in an attempt to justify his 90-day AWOL excursion. Specifically, the Sheriff wanted to clarify that he wasn't some podunk hick cooking meth in a tiny broken-down camper, but instead, a hotshot retiree having issues with a brand-new, luxurious, limited-edition RV.

Via The Duncan Banner:

In a meeting with The Banner on Monday following the commissioners meeting, Julie and Wayne McKinney expanded on their vacation and how it fell apart on the couple’s way home.

The trip, initially only meant to be 10 days long, had a destination of Florida to obtain the motor home — something that was supposed to be an investment for the McKinneys, they said.

The couple and their two dogs, loaded down with equipment to stock and live in their new home for the 10 day trip, took to the road.

Man, that sounds like the beginning of a straight-to-cable Rodney Carrington comedy-suspense thriller – "It was supposed to be a quick, 10-day dream vacation, but then turned into a 90-day nightmare! Watch Rodney Carrington and Melissa Joan Hart star in RV of the Damned! Premiering this Sunday at 7pm, only on CMT!"

Here are more comments from Sheriff McKinney about his broken-down home

They broke down on the way home on I-10 in Florida after obtaining the new motorhome — a model they usually only make 20 of a year.

“It was an investment for us,” Wayne McKinney said. “It’s like having a house is what it equates too, it costs as much as a lot of houses, and it’s something that we had to follow up on to make sure that it was taken care of. It wasn’t a little camper.”

The McKinneys said they stayed on the side of the highway for nearly a day upon the initial breakdown waiting for help. The Sheriff said an individual eventually stopped to help them and they were able to make their way to Tiffin Motorhomes — the manufacturer — in Red Bay, Alabama for further assistance.

“It was an investment for us,” Wayne McKinney said. “It’s like having a house is what it equates too, it costs as much as a lot of houses, and it’s something that we had to follow up on to make sure that it was taken care of. It wasn’t a little camper.”...

“It’s a 40-foot motorhome, diesel pusher motor, so it’s something that you just can’t get a tow truck on and pull it off the road,” Wayne McKinney said. “You can’t do that. So we had to do what the manufacturer of the motorhome was asking us to do in order to get the repairs completed, which we were hoping would happen in a timely manner.”

In all fairness to Sheriff McKinney, it does appear that a brand-new, 40-foot, limited-edition Tiffin RV can cost up to $600,000 (who knew a career in law enforcement could be so profitable!), so you can't really blame him for not wanting to leave it abandoned in a gravel parking lot across from a dog food plant in Nowhere, Alabama.

That being said, it still doesn't sound like a good excuse to ditch work for 90 days.

McKinney then explained to the Duncan Banner about the country music song comes to life details of the 90-day furlough. From having a sick diabetic dog to having a sick wife to having a sick diabetic dog again, it doesn't sound fun.

He also made sure to clarify that although he had a poor cell signal in Red Bay, Alabama, which allegedly limited his ability to communicate with people back home, his office did just fine without him.

As for department concerns, Sheriff McKinney said he’s stayed busy since he’s been back, but knows his organization maintained its standards despite his absence.

“I have made that a policy of mine in the 14 years I’ve been sheriff here,” the sheriff said. “We have accomplished a lot. Wayne McKinney is not the one that accomplished all of that. That was my policy, my organization of the sheriff’s office and putting the right people in the right positions. This office functions whether I’m there or not. I’m not a micromanager. I empower my management people to do a job. I let them do the job and I leave them alone unless there’s a big problem they bring me in on. But this functions with or without me physically there … I’m very proud of it.”

The Sheriff said he will now turn his attention to filling the undersheriff position.

That's pretty cool! It's good to know the Sheriff's Department can operate so well while the Sheriff spends 90 days dealing with a sick dog, sick spouse and sick RV in Alabama. In fact, it kind of makes you wonder if the county even needs a Sheriff or Undersheriff! I would suggest the county just get rid of the position, but if they did that, how would Sheriff McKinney pay for repairs on his next lavish motor home?

Anyway, I guess we'll continue to monitor this situation and provide any new updates as they come along. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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