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Tulsa County Shifts Funds to Pay Sheriff's Office Legal Fees

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KWGS News-File photo
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Tulsa Jail

 

Tulsa County officials have had to shuffle funds in order to pay more than $560,000 in legal fees billed to the sheriff's office by the close of the fiscal year June 30.

The Tulsa County Budget Board voted unanimously to use $339,000 left over from the jail's May payroll and $270,000 of the county's general fund to pay the legal fees.

Sheriff Vic Regalado says the payroll surplus is the result of a yearlong effort to streamline jail operations, including reducing jail personnel costs by hiring less expensive detention officers instead of certified deputies.

A sheriff's office spokeswoman says most of the legal fees come from the Tulsa Jail's defense in the Elliott Williams wrongful death case. Williams died in 2011 after lying on the floor in a jail cell for over 50 hours.