DELAWARE COUNTY, Okla. - Delaware County's new sheriff fired five employees Monday on his first day on the job.
Since his election in June, Sheriff Harlan Moore has vowed to clean up a department tarnished by a $13.5 million sex suit.
The 2009 suit settled out of court last year -- with increased sales taxes funding the expense -- was filed by 15 female inmates and accused the department of sexual abuse. Former Sheriff Jay Blackfox resigned following the scandal.
"The leadership was lacking and because the leadership was lacking, this agency and this county got sued," Moore said.
Moore says it's now time for a change, but stresses he won't be overreacting.
"How can I clean house? If I fired everybody who's going to do it?" Moore said. "There's fifty employees here. If I fire everybody, where am I going to find fifty people to fill those slots?"
Moore also brought in three new deputies Monday, who he says have a combined 132 years of law enforcement experience.
To help aid the new additions, Moore hopes to entice quality employees with increased pay.
Currently, jailers make $1,600 a month and patrol deputies $1,800 a month, a number Moore says is too low.
Moore also comes into the new job with four unsolved murder cases on his desk.
"There's been indication that some reports were not done. Therefore the investigations were not done. Those sort of things we're going to be on top of," he said.
Moore, who was set to take over in January, says he's ready for the job. And while the Moore says interim Sheriff Rick Littlefield did a fantastic job, the new sheriff saw no need to wait.
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