I became a County Commissioner to do my part to help reform the county jail, not only the justice system and treatment of inmates, but also the workplace of jail employees. In addition, I have also promised to be a responsible custodian of taxpayer money. Establishing a jail trust was the primary job our office took on to address both these issues. Working with other elected officials and many in the community, we were successful in creating the Jail Trust, formally known as the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority.
One priority to ensure that Sheriff’s employees are taken care of during this transition. In September, I promised that the county would do whatever possible to ensure officers at the jail stay on county benefits when the Trust takes over. The county’s great insurance and retirement policies are a huge draw, and a reason why employees tend to work here for years.
My office has worked to ensure that this promise will be kept, with success thus far. On our Oct. 9th meeting, the commissioners approved a contract with McAfee and Taft law firm, approving outside counsel to draft appropriate amendments to the county’s health and benefit plans; to ensure eventual employees of the Trust will retain county benefits. This came shortly after a DA opinion that the current policy should be amended to accommodate trust employees.
I thank County Employee Benefits Director Jon Wilkerson and his team for the incredible work they do, making Oklahoma County a quality employer. Also thank you to David Prater, our District Attorney and his staff for their hard work providing clarity for our road ahead. I look forward to these changes being made.