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December 4, 2012

County OKs new contract for jail project manager

NORMAN — Cleveland County Commissioners on Monday approved a new contract for the county’s jail project manager, architect Wes Brannon.

The new contract is for Brannon’s work on the creation of a day holding facility for inmates awaiting court hearings in the county office building. Brannon has worked as the county’s on-site representative for the the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center at Highway 77 and Franklin Road.

Rusty Sullivan, county commissioner and chairman of the Cleveland County Justice Authority, said Brannon’s previous contract for his work on the new jail was canceled because they were technically done with the project. Sullivan said the day they got the last billing in for the new jail was when Brannon’s contract was canceled.

With Brannon’s old contract, he received monthly payments. During the beginning stages of the project he was paid about $18,000 a month which later tapered down to about $12,000 as it reached its final stages. Over the course of that time, from December 2009 until November 2012, county jail trust records show Brannon was paid approximately $543,000.

Sullivan said Brannon’s contract was paid monthly because the project was so labor intensive. The county will be paying him significantly less with the new contract because they will be paying him hourly he said.

“It saves the county a lot of money that way,” he said.

The new contract will pay Brannon $110 an hour.

Sullivan said it was at the request of Cleveland County judges that they are building the day holding cell. For many years the inmates were brought in the court room and put in the back to await their hearing he said.

“The judges demanded to have a day holding cell here for them to come in for their court appearances,” he said.

The inmates are currently using the old jail as a day holding cell but when commissioners approved to have it torn down with a 2-1 vote, other options had to be considered.

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