Oklahoma County to pay $3.3 million in jail medical bills using taxpayer dollars

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Since 2014, Armor Correctional Health Services was the number one medical provider for Oklahoma County jail inmates.

However, the Florida-based company is fighting for its late payments.

"I'm grateful to Armor that they wanted to continue to provide services because at any point after 30 days of non-payment, they could have pulled out of their contract, and then we would've been in a real mess,” said County Commissioner Brian Maughan.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners must pay the $3.3 million Armor is owed from a last year's audit.

County officials said the sheriff's office always had the money to pay the contract but chose to use the funding elsewhere.

"Sheriff Whetsel directly and arbitrarily decided to intentionally create this debt by not making other sacrifices,” Maughan said.

County officials said that unfortunately taxpayers could be the ones paying for these lawsuits for the next three years.

And they say there's a likelihood this won't be the last lawsuit the people will have to pay.

"We're hearing about a new death in the jail and these lawsuits accumulate and are really starting to create a huge economic impact on the taxpayers,” Maughan.

In the suit, the board disagrees that the county should have to pay based on lack of evidence from the company to provide proof the funds were available.

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