The Pryor Times

State News

April 5, 2012

Sales tax will pay lawsuit settlement

JAY (AP) — Delaware County voters have overwhelmingly approved a 17-year, half-cent sales tax that will be used to pay off a $13.5 million settlement of a lawsuit that alleged sexual abuse at the county jail.

According to unofficial results from the Oklahoma State Election Board, the proposition received 7.251 votes (93.37 percent) for and 515 (6.63 percent) against during voting on Tuesday.

State law mandates the cost of the judgment be paid with property taxes for three years unless there's another option.

County officials voted last year to settle the lawsuit instead of enduring a trial and risk being hit with a costlier judgment.

Fifteen former inmates accused former Sheriff Jay Blackfox of ignoring their complaints about sexual abuse by staffers. Blackfox wasn't accused of any sexual wrongdoing.

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