County officials eye outside legal help

EL RENO – Canadian County officials say they want an outside attorney to provide advice once they receive two reports related to a discrimination complaint filed against the co-director of the Canadian County Juvenile Justice Center.

County commissioners voted Monday to have Chairman Marc Hader interview representatives from two Oklahoma City law firms about the possibility of providing consultation services.

The commissioners are expected to make a final decision next week.

The commissioners are awaiting final reports from a private investigative service, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission into allegations that Bill Alexander, the co-director of the juvenile justice center, had discriminated against at least one employee.

The reports could be completed within the next few days, they said.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Epperly said the reports would be released to the officials during an executive session. However, because they are part of a personnel matter and an EEOC investigation, they will not be made public.

Epperly told the commissioners they were within their authority to have outside legal counsel provide consultation.

Hader said both McAfee and Taft, as well as Fuller-Tubb, have an extensive background in employment law.

Epperly pointed out that the district attorney’s office does not have an expert in employment law on its staff. He also said that whatever firm is chosen would represent the county, not just the justice center.

Alexander’s duties at the justice center have been changed since the complaint was filed.

According to Associate Judge Bob Hughey, Alexander is not working at the facility, but is working on the center’s budget.

In addition, the county has hired a private investigator to conduct interviews with employees of the center. Those interviews, which are not being conducted at the center, are nearing completion, officials have said.

In other action, the commissioners agreed to purchase 3 ¼ acres of land adjacent to the District 2 yard. The property is being purchased from the Wiedeman Land and Mineral Trust for $64,800.

The purchase price is the same per acre as what the county spent buying the original eight acres, Commissioner Dave Anderson said.

He said the land is needed to expand the county’s work area.

Also approved Monday,

  • The advertisement for bids for fly ash, which will be used as a base material for road projects;
  • A claim form authorizing payment for rights-of-way through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation;
  • A work order request to several companies for the relocation of utilities on the Calumet Road project;
  • A contract with Haworth Mowing and Contracting for mowing services north of U.S. 270 and west of Calumet Road, from State Highway 66 to U.S. 270 and west of U.S. 270. Officials said the county will pay $25 per mowable mile;
  • Contract between the assessor’s office and Tisdal & O’Hara for legal services;
  • The rejection of bids for a pickup for the fair board. The pickup will be purchased through a state contract for about $800 less than the lowest submitted bid. The current pickup, which has about 40,000 miles, will be kept and used by the county;
  • Agreements between the health department and the Concho Child Development Center, the Mustang School District, El Reno Public Schools and Jennifer Doyle;
  • The emergency purchase of a heat and air conditioning unit for the Yukon Health Department for $8,833;
  • Approved road crossing permits for Enlink Midstream and Enable Oklahoma Interstate Transmission.

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