County Leaders Are Suing The State

By: Peter O'Connor Email
By: Peter O'Connor Email

County leaders across Kentucky are suing the state.

WYMT's Peter O'Connor talked with one eastern Kentucky judge-executive about why they say . . they have no choice.

While inmates await their day in court and are sentenced the county is responsible for picking up the tab.

“Why should we spend local taxpayers money to the tune of 3.7 some million dollars on an institution that belongs to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and not the county of Pike,” Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said.

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford along with the association say they don't think that is right.

So they voted to sue the state over the terms of the new jail policy.

State Representative Greg Stumbo says the county governments have a legitimate complaint.

Before any checks are sent out to cover the cost, Stumbo says an audit of each jail might be necessary to see if the system is taking advantage of the state.

“It is obvious that there is just something wrong with that system when a few jails can make money but a vast majority of them lose huge sums of taxpayers dollars and I think those jailers are going to have to be accountable,” Stumbo said.

When it comes to housing inmates Rutherford and his colleagues are not the only ones that are unhappy with the laws on the books.

Besides the reimbursement issue with the county's judge-executives and the commonwealth, there is growing concern among law enforcement agencies that the new policy makes it difficult for them to enforce the law.

“Very frustrating, very frustrating and I know our officers are very concerned as I'm sure officers are throughout the commonwealth,” Debbie Trusty said.

Both Trusty and Judge Rutherford say they understand the state's budget crisis, but say something has to be done soon.

Rutherford says both the jail and judge-executive association plan to work together on the suit. no hearings have been set.


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