Friday, July 22, 2016
Tuolumne County releases grand jury report
The Tuolumne County Civil Grand Jury released its annual report Tuesday morning detailing investigations into the operations of the county jail among other entities.
The report stated the county jail appeared “as well-kept as could be expected from the aging facility” originally constructed in 1961. However, the jury found the Sheriff’s Office will need to upgrade the jail’s record-keeping system and hire five to six more people to effectively operate the new jail that’s slated to open in 2019.
Other agencies investigated included the Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency, the county Community Resources Agency, Sierra Conservation Center and Baseline Conservation Center and Tuolumne Utilities District.
The grand jury also investigated the Sonora City Council, Sonora Union High School District Board of Trustees and Summerville Union High School District Board of Education for alleged Brown Act violations.
The Tuolumne County grand jury is an independent body of 17 people who serve on a voluntary basis. Every year, the panel is required to review the county jail and Sierra Conservation Center, the state prison near Jamestown, but is then free to investigate any other local public entity.
Investigations can stem from complaints by citizens.
Any entities targeted by the grand jury are required by state law to file responses within 60 to 90 days, but there’s no clear mechanism to follow up on promised fixes.
July 12, 2016
The Union Democrat
By Alex MacLean