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The Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority or Jail Trust, made decisions Monday that moved the Trust forward in spite of the Sheriff’s lack of agreement.

Transition Details

The Trust entertained an agenda item to hear a report from the Detention Center Transition Committee. As chair of that committee, County Clerk David B. Hooten reported to the Trust.

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Hooten pointed out that there are a lot of details that will need to be ironed out before the Trust officially takes over the Jail.

For example, employees of the jail sport uniforms with Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office insignia. That insignia will need to be removed and replaced with the new Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority branded insignia. New insignia will also be required on letterhead and any other official equipment or vehicles.

Transition accountability

Currently, the Sheriff’s office has a long list of inventory that will be required for apportionment to the Detention Center versus the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement force.

Desks, computers, printers, coat racks, office supplies, chairs, walkie-talkies, brooms, and a long list of who-knows-what other real property items will need to be divided fairly between the Sheriff’s Office and the Detention Center.

That doesn’t include the very expensive licensing of software and the acquisition of secure internet services in whatever space the Sheriff’s Office operations move into, and the lease on that space, whatever it may be.

And who will own the Jail? Currently, the Detention Center is a county building. The Trust is not a county body, it is a “public trust.” It necessarily adheres to different rules of accountability.

When it becomes the body that officially oversees the jail, will it need to own the building? Will it perhaps have a lease on the building? IF the building will come to be owned by the Trust, will that be a financial transaction or might the County simply “gift” this decrepit structure to the Trust?

There are many questions without answers so far. I’m glad I’m not responsible for it.

Money Stuff

Tricia Everest, Chair of the Trust, took time to thank the County Budget Board and the Board of County Commissioners. She acknowledged the work both of those boards have done to approve and allocate $550,000 for use by the Jail Trust.

The Trust then authorized Everest to sign checks as the Chair of the Trust.

The Trust went on to pay its first round of invoices, all of which were for legal services. Between GableGotwals and Williams, Box, Forshee, and Bullard/Public Finance Law Group, the Trust authorized payment of $85,907.15.

Sheriff Participation

The Sheriff abstained on several votes today and outright voted against an item to authorize the Chair to issue a Request For Information from vendors who could provide phone service for people incarcerated at the jail.

The Sheriff’s offered no comments or questions throughout the meeting.

The next meeting of the Jail Trust will be held in January, according to the County website.


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