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Criminal Justice

Oklahoma County Jail Trust Votes In New Chair

The Oklahoma County Jail.
Brent Fuchs
The Journal Record

The Oklahoma County jail trust Monday elected trustee Jim Couch to be its new chair. The trust also welcomed former corrections chief Joe Allbaugh into its membership and passed a resolution that limits public comment in meetings.

Couch is the former city manager of Oklahoma City. He said in the jail trust’s meeting he hopes to continue improving the county’s jail and make it more humane.

The trust came under fire this year for a rash of detainee deaths that began shortly after the trust took over supervision of the county jail.

Allbaugh, the former head of the state’s Department of Corrections sat in on his first meeting as the trust’s newest member. He is replacing Tricia Everest who resigned her seat to serve as Gov. Kevin Stitt’s new secretary of public safety.

Allbaugh joined most of the trust in approving a resolution that limits members of the public to voicing their opinions for only three minutes at the beginning of each meeting.

The trust’s chair, vice chair or presiding officer are allowed to have anyone who violates the rules or breaks the law during the meeting removed.

The resolution also gives the chair, vice chair or presiding officer authority to appoint a sergeant at arms, or to serve in that capacity themselves.

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