Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Mulls Temporarily Detaining High-Profile Inmate in Wyandotte County

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

County Mulls Temporarily Detaining High-Profile Inmate in Wyandotte County

Article excerpt

Shawnee County's corrections department is asking the county commission to enable it to send a high-profile inmate to Wyandotte County for pretrial detention. It won't publicly reveal that person's name.

Corrections department Maj. Tim Phelps wrote Friday in an email to The Topeka Capital-Journal: "While I typically am inclined to provide information about our activities (particularly those about which we may have an item on the Commission agenda), this information is not something we believe should be public."

Commissioners Bob Archer, Kevin Cook and Shelly Buhler plan to consider approving the corrections department request when they meet at 9 a.m. Monday in their chambers in Room B-11 of the county courthouse, 200 S.E. 7th.

The Topeka City Council won't meet Tuesday because it is the fifth Tuesday of the month. The council meets regularly on each month's first three Tuesdays.

The agenda packet for Monday's commission meeting includes a memorandum to commissioners from corrections department director Brian Cole asking them to approve an attached contract with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan. The contract would arrange for the unified government to house one adult detention prisoner on Shawnee County's behalf.

Cole's memo says, "After consultation with local law enforcement and the District Attorney's office, I determined it was in the best interest of safety and security to relocate a high-profile prisoner to WYCO for pretrial detention."

Cole said Shawnee County would pay $22 per day to house the inmate, which would amount to $8,030 annually. Shawnee County would also pay for any off-site medical treatment, if that becomes necessary.

Cole's memo indicated the county commission allocated funds to the corrections department in its 2014 and 2015 budgets to pay for the off-site housing of inmates.

The name of the inmate in question was not revealed in Cole's memo or in the proposed contract.

Phelps, the corrections department's spokesman, indicated in an email that the department wouldn't reveal the inmate's name.

He wrote: "From time to time, the safe and secure handling of a specific inmate requires that the department relocate the inmate to another facility. …

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