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Commissioners remove one, add one to Jail Trust board

By August 8, 2023September 18th, 2023No Comments

The McCurtain County Board of Commissioners voted to remove one member of the McCurtain County Jail Trust Board during their regular meeting on Monday, and also approved a successor for the position.

Both commissioners present at the meeting (Robert Beck and Ray Bamburg) voted to remove District 1 Representative Heather Carter from her position on the board.  Beck said that Carter, who works for the McCurtain County Sheriffs Office, cannot legally serve as a voting member of the Jail Trust as she is a county employee.

Beck said that the issue had been brought up by auditors.  Carter had been appointed to her seat on the Jail Trust Board by former District 1 Commissioner Chris White.

Current District 1 Commissioner John Williams had selected Lonnie Watson to serve as Carter’s replacement on the Jail Trust Board.  Watson was approved by both of the commissioners present at Monday’s meeting.

Guests at the meeting also requested information on the firm that provides security and technology services for the jail and some other county properties and also asked for ownership information for that firm.

Beck replied that IN-Sight was the firm in question and that the company was owned by Mike Manning, who currently serves as undersheriff.

Limited discussion of this situation took place at the meeting, with guests alleging that hiring a firm owned by a county employee was a violation of state law.

As the subject was brought up under the new business section of the meeting agenda, Beck proposed that the topic be formally listed as a discussion item for next week’s Board of Commissioners Meeting.

Manning and his ownership of IN-Sight were the subject of a story published in the weekend edition of this newspaper.