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Nowata County swears in new Interim Sheriff Mirta Hallett

Posted at 11:52 AM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 14:13:49-04

NOWATA COUNTY, Okla. — In a brief meeting on Wednesday morning, Nowata County commissioners accepted former Sheriff Terry Sue Barnett's resignation, and swore in Interim Sheriff Mirta Hallett.

Hallett has previously worked in the Sheriff's Office for more than three decades as a major, jail administrator and deputy. She says she did not see herself stepping into this role, but says the county is desperate for law enforcement. Right now, there are only three dispatchers and two jailers on the staff and multiple deputies, and the sheriff, resigned over conditions at the Nowata County Jail.

"That is first on my agenda is to have deputies back on the road today," Hallett said. "I think the people in this county deserve protection. So that is a priority with me right now."

Another priority for Hallett is to reopen the jail.

Inmates have been housed in Washington County since February after carbon monoxide was discovered.

But first, she says they must make sure it's safe for inmates and employees.

Hallett said she is working on getting people inside Wednesday to check out the situation.

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