Sales tax to pay civil settlement headed for approval in Delaware County
BY Staff Reports
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
4/03/12 at 9:14 PM
A 17-year, half-cent sales tax to pay off a multimillion-dollar civil-rights lawsuit settlement was on its way to passage on Tuesday night in Delaware County.
According to unofficial returns, the measure was passing by more than 92 percent with 19 of 22 precincts reporting. More than 6,600 votes had been cast with three precincts still to be counted, according to the state election board.
Prompting the ballot question was the $13.5 million settlement of a lawsuit filed by 15 female inmates of the county jail. The women accused a former sheriff, Jay Blackfox, of ignoring their complaints of sexual abuse.
Blackfox wasn’t accused of any sexual allegations, and he denied any wrongdoing. The women were incarcerated between 2005 and 2010 on charges alleging such things as drug and alcohol crimes, assault and battery, and larceny.
Had voters rejected the sales-tax proposal, county officials have said they will be forced to raise property taxes by as much as 18 percent annually for three years to pay the settlement.
Read more in Wednesday’s Tulsa World.