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April 30, 2014

Justice authority names new jail administrator

CHICKASHA —

Jim Gerlach was officially approved as the new administrator for the Grady County Jail during a meeting of the Grady County Criminal Justice Authority Monday night.

Gerlach will replace current Jail Administrator Shane Wyatt, who is leaving his post for health reasons, beginning late next month.

Gerlach has been the jail administrator for Montrose County, Colorado since 2008.

"I'm concerned with policies and procedures [for the jail]," Gerlach said. "We should be able to get policies and procedures written pretty quickly."

He said he will focus on following Oklahoma law, American Correctional Association standards, and housing of inmates upon beginning as administrator.

The board also selected John Baker as chairman of the Grady County Criminal Justice Authority and newly-appointed board member and District One County Commissioner Windle Hardy as vice chairman.

Hardy took District Three County Commissioner Jack Porter's place on the justice authority.

Porter said the justice authority was first established as a five-member board and having seven members wasn't approved by the county board of commissioners.

Porter said the justice authority went back to a five-member board recently because their original trust indenture called for five members. This led to the dismissal of Carl Alexander and Damon Logue from the board.

Alexander expressed concern over the justice authority, which had been operating as a seven-member board for three years.

Hardy said Alexander and Logue were selected to be dismissed because they were the last two people appointed.

Attorney Howard Owens said a bylaw allowed the board to be expanded to seven members.

The board also discussed their contract with Capital Detention Systems, L.L.C., which provides consulting services for policies and procedures at the jail, which ends in May 2015.

Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir said the contract between the justice authority and Capital Detention is for $60,000 per year, with Capital Detention able to submit a bill for additional services provided, but he doesn't think Capital Detention's services will be needed when the new jail administrator takes office.

"We offered a very fair product at a very fair price," Capital Detention Senior Principal Truman Bidelspach said.

Bidelspach said his company's contract began in April 2012.

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