Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

May 1, 2013

Wallace talks of jail authority's next steps

May 1, 2013 — Unless the recent decision in Franklin Circuit Court is overturned in an appeal, the Northeast Regional Jail Authority (NRJA) will assume the role of managing the county jails in Carter and Boyd counties.

However, Carter Judge-Executive Charles Wallace doesn't appear to be in a hurry to appoint board members and get the NRJA up and running.

“We're going to take things slow and let this thing play out in the courts before we move forward with anything,” Wallace said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “We don't want to cram this down people's throats.”

According to the ordinance establishing the NRJA, the governing board will consist of members appointed by the judge-executives of each county and the elected jailer in the county where the regional jail authority is located – which would be Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett.

When asked about the potential makeup of the board, Wallace responded:

“We're going to have professional people on this board. We're not going to have a bunch of politics and it's not going to be a good old boys club.”

Although the NRJA won the first court battle, it may be some time before the governing body comes into being.

The Kentucky Jailers Association filed an appeal last Friday contesting the original court decision and seeking extension of a September injunction that prevented the NRJA from officially being formed while the matter was in litigation.

“I think the Jailers’ Association is making a big mistake by contesting this thing. Right now it's just a local issue, but if it goes on to the Supreme Court, it opens up the door for all the other counties to look at similar agreements,” Wallace added.

In other jail news, the second reading of an ordinance aimed at cutting back the federal inmate population at the Carter County Detention Center is set to take place a special meeting of Carter Fiscal Court this Friday.

The time for that meeting has yet to be announced.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.

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