HEALTH

Jail Trust Chair says rumor is not true that CEO Williams is being fired

OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Rumors persist that Jail Trust CEO and jail administrator Greg Williams has been fired or pushed into resigning. But, the chair of the Trust, Tricia Everest, strongly denied the rumors late Monday evening.

Rumors

Early Monday evening, several persons known to this reporter but asking to not be named reached out to ask about a rumor that Greg Williams, CEO of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority (Jail Trust) had been fired or resigned.

Four, in all, asked because they said they had been hearing rumors and wanted to know. Some are community members, some connected to Oklahoma County. But, none were elected officials.

One of those persons who spoke to Free Press said they thought that if Williams was forced out, jail staff members would leave the job behind.

“Not been fired”

Free Press reached out to Jail Trust Chair Tricia Everest via text, asking if Everest could confirm or deny Williams’s departure from the Jail. Everest immediately contacted us via phone to address the rumor.

“Mr. Williams has absolutely not been fired,” Everest said. She went on to say that to her knowledge Williams has not resigned.

“I certainly haven’t heard of or seen a letter of resignation.”

Everest referred to the rumor as “reckless,” stating that it only increases uncertainty and tensions among the community, Jail staff, and detainees in the Jail and their families.

Jail Strife

Since the Jail Trust took over operations at the Jail in July 2020, there have been a number of deaths of detainees at the Jail. Most recently, a detention officer was taken hostage by a detainee. The detainee and some peers on his 10th-floor pod went live on Facebook to publicize what they described as inhumane conditions in the Jail.

The situation only ended when the Oklahoma City Police Department shot and killed Curtis Williams inside the Jail.

Last Thursday Free Press reported on a special meeting of the Jail Trust, where, during Executive Session, the Trust discussed Jail deaths and the future of the CEO’s employment with the organization. The Trust took no action publicly, spawning some rumors in the community.

Uncertain Future

At Monday’s meeting of the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners, the Board spent some of their hour-plus-long Executive Session discussing an item recommending the dissolution of the Trust, raising even more questions about the future of the Trust and Williams’s employment.

To dissolve the Trust, there must be a majority vote of the County Commissioners, as well as a majority vote of the Trustees. If that were to happen, the issue would then require the Governor of the State of Oklahoma to sign off on the dissolution.

Monday afternoon, the Detention Center Action Committee, a subcommittee of the Trust, met to add members and discuss strategies to better operate the Jail. 

The full Jail Trust will not meet again until the 19th of April at 1:00 p.m. The fate of the Trust may still be uncertain, but one assumes that the Trust will function within the parameters of the Trust indenture until otherwise instructed.

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