Problems with the audio/video equipment used by Harlan District Judge Jeffrey Brock to conduct video arraignments at the Harlan County Detention Center were discussed at a recent meeting of the Harlan County Fiscal Court.
Magistrate Bill Moore said the person responsible for the equipment at the Harlan County Justice Center needs to also service the equipment at the jail. At this time, Brock is unable to hear inmates speaking during video arraignments.
Harlan County Jailer Curt Stallard said Jefferson Audio/Video (JAV), of Louisville, installed equipment at both sites, but they don’t have a contract to service the equipment at the jail.
“That don’t make sense,” said Stallard. “If you put them both in looks like you’d service both ends of it.”
Harlan County Road Supervisor Marvin Goins, who previously worked as maintenance supervisor at the justice center, said the “ball got dropped.”
“When I was supervisor over there, I made suggestions that this get fixed by getting a maintenance agreement with the jail also,” said Goins. “It’s JAV’s equipment on both ends. Even though it was put in by Harlan Community TV, the equipment is actually managed by Jefferson Audio/Video.”
Grieshop said it appears the county should do a contract with Jefferson Audio/Video, but he feels it could be “a charge-back to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)/Justice Center.”
“Who’s responsibility is this — the AOC or the county’s?” asked Grieshop. “I don’t know what they do in other counties, but we need an answer.”
Stallard said Harlan County Fiscal Court paid for all the optics from the justice center to the jail. He said he felt the county has already been “out a lot of money,” and that the AOC should be the responsible for fixing the equipment, since the equipment is being used for the judicial system.
“It needs to be fixed and maintained,” said Grieshop. “We could go so far as a one time thing and fix it until we sort all this out.”
Stallard agreed, saying if it is not fixed the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office will have to transport prisoners to the justice center for court proceedings costing the county a lot of money in gasoline.
“We could talk to the AOC and see if they will reimburse the county for a contract at the jail,” said Harlan County Treasurer Ryan Creech.
Everyone agreed to do a one-time service agreement with Jefferson Audio/Video to correct problems at the Harlan County Detention Center, and after that work out an agreement with the AOC.
Harlan County Justice Center Maintenance Supervisor Tom Soltess later said he had contacted JAV and they were scheduled to be in Harlan on Tuesday to evaluate the problem.
In other court action, Creech noted the Harlan County Bluegrass Festival had requested $10,000 for the upcoming year.
“We spent $10,000 for that,” said Magistrate David Kennedy. “We put $10,000 in a bluegrass festival and $5,000 in the Swappin’ Meetin’ that has been going on for the past 50 years. I think we need to revisit those festivals. I think we even scaled back on the county’s main festival — the Poke Sallet Festival. They even reimburse the county for a majority of the money we put into it. Do we receive any money back from the bluegrass festival?”
Grieshop told Kennedy there was no reimbursement from the Harlan County Bluegrass Festival.
“That’s a lot of money,” said Kennedy.
After going into executive session, per KRS 61.810 (l.c) and 61.810 (c), the court returned and voted to promote Lonnie Bryant to the position of supervisor of county buildings and grounds. Grieshop noted Bryant will still be over county special projects and parks. Grieshop also reflected that effective Oct. 22, county employee Danny Rouse will be moved to the Stone Mountain Boat Dock until spring.
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