The Ramsey County Board approved funding shifts Tuesday to cover a $1.6 million gap in the Sheriff's Office 2008 budget.

A covert investigation running up to the Republican National Convention, guarding hospital patients, employee overtime and auto repairs added to the overspending, according to Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

His department also brought in about $672,000 in new, unexpected revenue from housing inmates from other jurisdictions. All but $5,000 of that will go toward covering the gap.

He expects that about $400,000 more will be reimbursed by the city of St. Paul for helping with convention security. That money wasn't part of the county's $1.8 million deal negotiated with the city before the convention. St. Paul received a $50 million federal grant to cover security costs, but there are strict guidelines on what is and isn't covered. Fletcher believes the $305,000 undercover investigation will be covered, as well as $93,000 to guard county-owned buildings, such as the Landmark Center, and costs for patrolling the Mississippi River.

He said he didn't want to negotiate the undercover investigation in case information was leaked.

A decision on whether the convention money will be reimbursed is expected by late February, said County Manager Julie Kleinschmidt.

If it is approved, that leaves about $536,000 to be covered by a county contingency account.

Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve the moves.