Oklahoma County Sheriff receives some supplementary funding

Budget board awards $300,000 from county reserve fund for medical contract obligations at the county jail.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Staff Writer zcampfield@opubco.com Published: May 23, 2012
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In addition to approving a working budget for the coming fiscal, the Oklahoma County Budget Board on Monday also allocated some last-minute supplementary funding for the current fiscal year.

The board voted to transfer $300,000 from the general fund's reserve account to the sheriff's department to help fill a revenue gap Sheriff John Whetsel blamed on contract problems at the county jail.

A contract with the new medical provider at the jail was $200,000 more than expected, and revenue collected for housing state inmates this fiscal year was $630,000 less than expected, Whetsel said.

He asked the county's budget board for $826,000 on Monday, which he said is needed to fulfill the final two months of the county's contract obligations with Armor Correctional Health Services.

Most of the request was not funded because the reserve account for the current fiscal year may yet be tapped again for medical claims or other unforeseen expenses, said Danny Lambert, chief deputy/finance manager for the Oklahoma County Clerk's office.

Lambert said after the $300,000 transfer the reserve account balance will be $635,225. The county started the year with a reserve of more than $3 million.

“It was decided that $300,000 ought to get him through the month of May,” Lambert said. “We're going to meet again, look at the request again, and try to determine if the budget team's going to recommend any more funding for the sheriff's department the rest of this fiscal year.”

Monday was the second time this current fiscal year that supplementary funding was awarded the sheriff's department. The department was allocated a million dollars in December for personnel costs, Whetsel said.