By Wayne Allen
The Scioto County Commissioners reported on Tuesday they are still exploring their options when it comes to doing something about Lawrence County’s intention to open a jail in Scioto County.
The Lawrence County Commissioners in corporation with the state of Ohio are intending to open the Liberation Unit of the former Ohio River Valley Juvenile Correctional Facility in Scioto County as a jail.
Scioto County officials have expressed concern over the idea since the Lawrence County Commissioners decided to enter into an agreement with the state.
Last week the commissioners met in executive session with Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn over pending litigation, afterwards Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners Mike Crabtree sat down exclusively with the Daily Times.
When ask if the county is going to court of this issue Crabtree said, “that I do not know, at this stage I don’t know.”
Crabtree said while in executive session they discussed a few options, but at this point there has not been a decision made to go to court.
When asked if he sees that as a viable option Crabtree said, “anytime you go to court it will cost you a lot of money, sometime it will cost you a friend, it could cost you a lot of things.”
Crabtree did not rule out the possibility saying. “anything is possible.”
He said there are a number of issues to be considered in this situation such as the constitutional issues, “there is more than the commission involved there is the county and the voters would have a certain element of interest in this. We’ve already received some comments from people who are not crazy about Lawrence County having a jail in Scioto County.”
Crabtree said it would be hard to tell how many people in Scioto County that are not in favor of this happening.
“There is some concern about this and what effect that will have. I do know there are other issues that the sheriff may have and there are some issues the prosecutor may have,” Crabtree said. “It’s not only the board of commissioners that’s going to be effected by this, there are some other officials that have concern.”
Crabtree said the commissioners may be the ones that choses to move forward with some type of action, “sometimes when your dealing with something like this you have to decide who your willing to sue.”
When asked if not moving forward was an option, Crabtree declined to comment.
“There is still some legal professionals looking into somethings. I’m not an attorney and I can’t tell you what our best options are or what our final options may be. But, I can tell you there were some things discussed and somewhere down the road there may be a decision made,” Crabtree said.
At the Tuesday meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners, Commissioner Doug Coleman said there still has been no communication from the state or Lawrence County about opening the jail.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT