DOC conducts sweep of Delaware County jail, offices
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL World Correspondent
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
11/30/11 at 5:59 PM
JAY – Prescription pills and tobacco were among several items found Wednesday morning during a two-hour sweep of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department by drug dogs, said Sheriff Rick Littlefield.
Three Department of Corrections dogs and 20 officers from three DOC correctional facilities sweep through the entire department, cells, offices and the parking lot looking for all types of contraband, Littlefield said.
“I requested the sweep because its part of the cleaning house process,” Littlefield said. “I want us to start out good and fresh.”
Littlefield was appointed sheriff in November by county commissioners after former sheriff, Jay Blackfox, resigned from the county’s top law enforcement post.
The search, which started at 9 a.m., turned up prescription pills, tobacco, kitchen items, spoons, forks, tubs of reading material and a radio.
Littlefield said these items, which were found in the individual cells, violates jail policy.
Inmates are allowed to have a Bible in their cells, but the reading materials made the cells look like a library, he said.
“Fortunately we didn’t find any shanks or knives,” Littlefield said.
The dogs did hit on drug spots but they later turned out to be a spot were chemicals were stored or in a police car that was recently involved in a narcotic arrest, he said.
Littlefield said there was also graffiti painted with toothpaste on the cell walls.
Currently, all employees are going before a three-member interview team which allows Littlefield to review the department’s 50 employees.
Blackfox’s resignation comes off the heels of a $13.5 million federal civil rights judgment in which 15 former inmates said they were raped and sexually assaulted in the county jail by a volunteer deputy and jailers.
Volunteer Deputy Bill Sanders Sr. and jail administrator Lonnie Hunter were at the center of most of the sexual allegations. Hunter was dismissed from the Sheriff's Office in November and Sanders was also dismissed from the Sheriff's Office and died in November 2008.
The women accused Blackfox of ignoring their complaints, a charge he has denied. Blackfox is not accused of any sexual misconduct.
Charles Ward, jailer for Delaware County, goes through things collected by the Oklahoma Corrections Dept. which did a sweep of the jail, with Delaware County Sheriff, Rick Littlefield watches the progress. GARY CROW/For the Tulsa World