Local/Regional News
1:34 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Sheriff Withdraws Offer To Run Jail

LEXINGTON,  Ky. - Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt has taken an offer to run the Fayette County Detention Center off the table for now. The sheriff’s office had difficulty finding an insurance company willing to take on the risk of covering the jail.

Sheriff Witt had expressed interest in running the detention center, a move she said could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars because the jail is frequently sued by inmates, workers, and former employees and her office uses private insurance. But Witt’s office has been unable to locate an insurer willing to accept liability for the facility that met all the office’s requirements. Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the sheriff, says that could change if the city shows any renewed interest in the offer down the road.

"We would hope if the offer came up again that we would be able to obtain an insurance carrier who could cover that risk and therefore offer significant savings," Miller says.

The Urban County Government also recently completed contract negotiations with the union representing most of the jail’s employee’s. Were the Sheriff’s Office to take over the jail, that contract would likely be nullified. In a letter to the chairman of the mayor’s public safety task force, Witt cited the union’s agreement as another reason to withdraw the offer.