Van Zandt Co. seeks reimbursement from jail lock manufacturer
Two inmates capitalized on a faulty lock late last month in Van Zandt county.
VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
New details are emerging from Van Zandt County, where late last month two inmates capitalized on a faulty cell lock and made it down the hallway before giving up on their escape.
The county plans to recover money from the lock manufacturer that was spent transporting and housing inmates at other jails.Van Zandt County sent 110 prisoners to three counties for one week after two inmates manipulated their cell lock and made a dash for the exit.
"At this point, all we're out is the inmate expense," Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches said.
Koches said at a rate between $30 and $40 per inmate per day just to house inmates, the total adds up quickly.
"It's less than $50,000 but more than $30,000," Koches said.
Koches said Van Zandt County is waiting on the last few bills to arrive, but she said those should arrive in early August. The county, however, is not waiting to get their money back. Koches said Tyler-based attorney Robert Davis is drafting a letter to the manufacturer seeking reimbursement.
"We're optimistic about recovering those damages," Koches said.
Davis said he plans to have the demand letter drafted and sent to the Illinois-based manufacturer by Friday. Koches added that the manufacturer had a system in place to get the replacement parts to the jail quickly and so far for free.
"They have not billed us for those replacement parts and have not billed us for installation or repairs," Koches said.