Federal Inmate Coordinator Joey Stanton has resigned his position with LaRue County.
Stanton, who was hired as a jail consultant to make state-mandated improvements at the LaRue County Detention Center in 2008, will be working with jails in eastern Kentucky.
In July 2010, Stanton, a former jailer with 30 years experience and a member of the State Parole Board, was appointed chief administrative officer after jailer Ralph “Mac” Turner stepped away from duties.
Under Stanton’s leadership, the jail went “from cellar dweller to up toward the top,” according to Deputy Kentucky Commissioner of Corrections Rodney Ballard.
Ballard said that without Stanton’s work, the LaRue County jail would have been closed costing large sums of local tax dollars to meet new regulations.
Once the jail, which had been plagued by escapes and contraband, had been cleaned to the satisfaction of the Department of Corrections, Stanton began working on a contract with the U.S. Marshal’s Office to house and transport federal prisoners.
Stanton continued in the role until new jailer Johnny Cottrill took office in January. The federal inmate contract – plus a contract to house illegal immigrants – came soon afterwards.
“Few jails in Kentucky are able to meet these requirements due to the strict security and operational needs imposed by the U.S. Marshal’s Office,” said LaRue County Judge/Executive Tommy Turner.
The federal inmate and immigration contracts may help offset a potential $750,000 reduction in state funding at the jail brought about by HB 463. The new law will reduce the number of state inmates available to be housed at county jails.
“It’s time to leave,” Stanton said Monday. “My job’s done here. I’ve got a couple of other jails the state wants me to go in – they’re about the same as (LaRue’s) used to be.”
Stanton said he has confidence in Cottrill’s ability as jailer.
“I’m sure he will do a good job,” he said. “He has a good staff. It won’t go back the way it was. He needs to be aggressive and go after as many federal inmates as he can to offset house bill 463.”
Stanton, though lauded by state and local officials for the fiscal, security and staffing improvements at the jail, admits not everyone was happy with his presence in LaRue County. Complaints were made about his salary (that the county was paying for “two jailers”) and his residency in Grayson County.
Stanton was paid about $60,000 annually, while the elected jailer also was drawing a salary.
Despite the naysayers, he said he appreciates the support he received from many.
“I will always have a special place in my heart for LaRue County,” he said.