Whetsel has surely worn out his welcome even among the establishment in Oklahoma County. Last week saw a story in the Oklahoman that admitted that nearly 1300 inmates were being held unlawfully, three to a cell designed to hold two. The county public defender Bob Ravitz interviewed for the story and hammered Whetsel's actions and lack of action. Ravitz reported that some cells held four inmates, a gross violation of health and safety standards.
Ravitz asked the judge for 200 low risk inmates to be released to ease the overcrowding or order the jail to stop accepting new prisoners. The story says that many of the prisoners were probation violations, failure to pay fines/costs sanctions, and misdemeanors. Whetsel of course is blaming the court system for not processing bail requests and cases fast enough to clear the jail.
Back in March the county commissioners ordered Whetsel to remove the state prisoners being held on contract, removing a little under ten percent of the inmates, a process that was only finished this week. The jail is designed to hold 1200 inmates but Whetsel has been packing the jail to twice that in an effort to force the building of a new jail. Bail bondsmen have been complaining for years that Whetsel has slowed the pace to the point that even after bail has been posted it takes days to get a prisoner released.
And that isn't the least of Whetsel's incompetent leadership. A few weeks ago a very dangerous inmate mingled with a bunch of weekend inmates and managed to escape as they left the jail. Whetsel refused to put out an immediate alert, called a BOLO alert, which would have notified all law enforcement officers in the state of an escaped dangerous prisoner. Inside sources claim this was done to try to keep a lid on the situation and avoid embarrassment for Whetsel.