In a somewhat contentious meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on Monday, a committee was formed to assist the transition of the Oklahoma County Detention Center from the supervision of the Sheriff’s Office to that of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority.
Two elected officials asked to be not included, then asked to be included.
Yeah, that’s right.
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Last week the BoCC considered a resolution to establish the Oklahoma County Detention Center Transition Committee. Assistant District Attorney Aaron Etherington drafted the resolution with the suggestion that the committee would include appointees from each County Commissioner, the Sheriff, the County Clerk, and the County Treasurer.
The committee would deal with the details of Sheriff Taylor’s move out of the jail and the reconfiguring of the staff at the Jail.
At that time the Board decided that they would like to reconsider the membership of the committee, which would require a new resolution to be drafted. The item was struck from the agenda at that time in order to be reconstituted for the next meeting.
When the board reconvened Monday, two new versions of the resolution were suggested, one brought by District 1 Commissioner Carrie Blumert and the other brought by District 3 County Commissioner Kevin Calvey.
Blumert’s resolution proposed the same membership as Etherington’s with the sole addition of the County Purchasing Agent. Calvey’s version included appointees from each of the elected county officials.
Department of Redundancy Department
The BoCC chose to discuss the relative merits of both versions of the resolution as one item. Calvey asked if County Assessor Larry Stein and Court Clerk Rick Warren had thoughts about being on the committee.
“I already have a job with the Budget Board,” Stein answered, “I don’t see why we have to create the Department of Redundancy Department.” Stein went on to say that he was being asked to have responsibilities without the power to implement policy. Calvey asked if Stein meant that he did not want to be on the committee. Stein replied, “That would be the goal.”
Rick Warren came to the podium to say that these responsibilities fall to the County Commissioners.
“You formed the Trust. One of you sits on the board, none of us do. I’m more than willing to serve where I can.” He said that he agreed with Stein that he would have no decision making power, but that if the District Attorney’s Office said that he needed to be on the new committee he would serve on it.
Seeing the deadline looming Jan. 1, the Trust established a high frequency of meetings for the remainder of the year. They will meet on 11/18, 12/9, and 12/16.
The Sheriff was asked for a specific list of deputies he will take with him to the next location of their headquarters.
Sue Ann Arnall said she wants to diminish the chaos of the transition.
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Update: Nov 13, 2019, 11:30 a.m.