Cleveland County Commissioners met behind closed doors Monday to discuss a contract and the status of the current arrangement with Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center Trust for housing Cleveland County inmates.

The previous agreement was for Pottawatomie County to house up to 20 prisoners per day in the Pottawatomie County Regional Detention Center in Shawnee. After three inmates escaped Aug. 27 and 28, 2007, Cleveland County pulled all inmates from Pottawatomie County.

Joseph Ray Henson, 20, of Shawnee, and Brandon Charles Farnell, 24, of Konawa, escaped and were captured within a couple of days. Harley Davidson Scott, 26, of Norman, was on the run 22 days before he was captured.

Pottawatomie County made several repairs and began housing Cleveland County prisoners again in November 2007. A new contract was not made and there is now a discrepancy between what Cleveland County owes and what Pottawatomie is charging for its prison beds.

Returning to open session, David Batton, assistant district attorney and counsel to the commissioners, said no decisions or votes were taken in executive session.

In other business, commissioners approved a communication line installation between the board and Windstream Telecommunications parallel to Indian Meridian between Highway 9 and Flat Armadillo Road in far south Cleveland County.

Cherry Slaughter was appointed a receiving officer for OSU Extension Service accounts.

Chris Youngblood with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department reported an average of 179 prisoners in the detention center for the week of May 6-13.

In unrelated county business conducted outside of Monday’s meeting, commissioners have signed a contract to purchase a small office building at 114 S. Peters Ave. for $165,000. The purchase, funded through the Cleveland Home Loan Authority, was approved in an earlier Cleveland County Justice Authority meeting.

Justice Authority Commissioner Rusty Sullivan said he would like to use the space for storage.

“We will have to hold meetings, but speaking as one commissioner, instead of laying out rent to others’ places, I would like to put it in our own building,” Sullivan said.

A special meeting of the Justice Authority is scheduled 9 a.m. Thursday in the Cleveland County Office Building, 201 S. Jones Ave.

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