Kay County Justice Facilities Authority

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Newkirk, Oklahoma


The Trustees of the Kay County Justice Facilities Authority (JFA) met in regular session at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 19, 2007, in Commissioners Court on the First Floor of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma.  Notice of the meeting was posted for public information on September 18, 2007, at the Courthouse front door, Commissioners Court, and basement handicapped entrance of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma.


Chairman Bruce Robinson called the meeting to order.  Those present were as follows:  Vice Chairman Carl Giddens; Trustees – Norris Frederick; Darrel Grossardt; Gene Smith; Everette Van Hoesen, Kay County Sheriff; Laile Wilson, Kay County Commissioner; Wes Young; Don Jones, Jail Consultant; Christy Kennedy, Kay County Treasurer; Judy Barnes, Kay County Assessor; Sharon Rowen, Ponca City News; Tammy Reese, Kay County Clerk/Secretary.   Jim Stieber was absent.  (See sign-in sheet).


Motion was made by Norris Frederick and seconded by Daryl Grossardt approving regular meeting minutes of September 5, 2007.  Motion carried.


Chairman Robinson said liability of board actions was put on the agenda to clarify any questions the board might have about responsibilities, obligations, duties and liability issues that might involve board members.  Robinson asked for comments from Attorney David Cummings and Jail Consultant Don Jones.


Mr. Cummings said as trustees of a public trust my statutory definition is you are public officers.  As public officers you enjoy the same position and immunities as public officials in the State of Oklahoma.  You don’t have to be bonded or have insurance and you have a pretty broad immunity from personal liability from a public board.  The statutes read about a public trust like other public officers.  No trustee or beneficiary shall be charged personally with any liability whatsoever by reason of any act or omission committed or suffered in the performance of such trust or in the operation of the trust property.  But in any act of liability of any omission or obligation of the trustee or trustees in execution of such trust or in the operation of the trust property shall extend to the whole trust estate or so much thereof as may be necessary to discharge such liability or obligation and not otherwise.  What that says is any action you take in the normal discharge of your duties or any inaction something you don’t do that someone thought you should have done, you don’t have personal liability anymore than a county commissioner does.  Cummings said he would submit to the board that if they performed an act that was in violation of law or act in which you intentionally tried to cause some harm or commit an act of fraud or took public property for your own use; those kinds of things you probably wouldn’t be protected from.  Basic acts and omissions serving in your capacity as trustee you are not liable, only the entity itself is liable.  As with city and county commissioner’s, governors and so forth if they commit a tort of some kind the entity of which they served can be pursued for liability and then of course there is a Governmental Tort Immunity Act that limits coverage recovery in those matters.  Cummings said you don’t have the same exposure as you might in a private entity.


Robinson asked Cummings since the county officers are elected officials; do we fall under the umbrella of their insurance coverage that covers them as elected officials?


Cummings replied you are defined in the Trust Act as public officers.  Whether or not you fall within their insurance we would need to refer to the policy itself.  Cummings said I have not seen it and for that question you may need to refer to the District Attorney’s office.


Cummings said at this point this is an entity that has no assets. 


Cummings said the Trust Indenture is fairly broad.  It has to do with jails or detention facilities, including examining, consulting, building, renovating and operating. 


Don Jones added that as of now the board has not taken that step to go into the jail operation.


Cummings said the county has not assigned and the trust has not accepted.  What we should continue to do is to consult.


Cummings answered questions from members concerning the purpose of the board.

Cummings told trustees that we don’t want to do things this board has not assumed.


The board asked Cummings to check on the insurance coverage to see if they are insured.


Motion was made by Van Hoesen and seconded by Smith to Table appointment of grievance committee until Mr. Cummings has had a chance to review insurance coverage.

Motion carried.


Sub-committee report to board/topics of discussion:  Training for jailers-taser and riot control; cleaning, repairing, and painting pod that was damaged during the riot; commissioners employees working in jail; an estimate from Welborn Electric to install lighting on the outside of the jail; Homeland Security Grant to possibly help with funding of outside lighting; televisions and cable connection for the jail; types of window glass to install in damaged pod; food pass installations; and the exercise yard.


Don Jones reported on some of the accomplishments on the above mentioned items and said he would notify the State Department of Health.


Course of Action Report/Timeline given by Don Jones:  Jones said Architects in Partnership (AIP) will be onsite next Wednesday, September 26, 2007 between 10 and 10:30 a.m. to begin inspection of the jail.  Jones said we need to have preliminary information back in two weeks (October 10, 2007).


Cummings suggested to Sheriff Van Hoesen to have Les Johnston, Head Custodian for the Kay County Courthouse available.  Cummings would like for Johnston to tell AIP some of the history and operational issues of the jail.


Jones said by October 10th we should have preliminary information to report to the board.  The final report from the engineers should be received by October 24, 2007.


Robinson said we need to establish and make significant progress on the timeline and furnish the state timeline specific information.


Robinson, Van Hoesen and Cummings reviewed the proposed contract.  Robinson said Cummings had several changes and suggestions that the three agreed on.


Cummings said he met with the architect and Brent Clark to go over the meanings of the some of the items mentioned in the standard architectural contract.  Cummings mentioned there were 20-30 items of interest the group went over.  Cummings discussed with the board in detail the changes that were referenced.  He then explained the phases of how the architects would be paid and stated the architects would help with the bidding process, and monitor and help with budget issues.


Several questions were asked by board members and Cummings answered with explicit explanations. 


Cummings explained the county commissioners do not approve this agreement/contract because there is no funding.


Motion was made by Van Hoesen and seconded by Young to schedule a special meeting for Tuesday, September 25, 2007, at 10 a.m.  Motion carried.


Robinson said he would like Item 9 on this Agenda to be on all future Agenda’s – “Relating to and concerning jail issues (timeline, etc.).”  The wording of this item was discussed.


Cummings said he felt the wording was a little broad and would feel better if the item referenced jail operations.  Cummings told the board his job was to be as conservative as I think I need to be to keep you guys out of trouble.  He added he felt the District Attorney’s office was very conservative in keeping the commissioners out of trouble.


There being no further business, a motion was made by Grossardt and seconded by Smith to adjourn the meeting (3:45 p.m.). 















Approved this _____ day of __________, 2007.





                                                                            Bruce Robinson, Chairman










Tammy Reese, County Clerk

County of Kay, State of Oklahoma

Secretary, Kay County Justice Facilities Authority