Amid controversy, Oklahoma County commissioners are purchasing land for a new jail

Calls for the resignation of Oklahoma County Commissioner Myles Davidson intensified as county commissioners voted Monday to purchase land for the proposed site of a new jail.

The Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 to purchase 71 acres of property at 1901 E Grand Blvd., a heavily industrial area in Oklahoma City near Crooked Oak Public Schools and just a block from the Oklahoma City/Del City border. Board Chairman and County 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan said the move was an attempt to use $50 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds earmarked for the behavioral health facility.

“We simply purchased the property outright without any of the additional terms we had previously offered, and that means we don’t have to ask the landowner to approve any application from (Oklahoma City),” Maughan said. “We think this will allow us to make progress on building the mental health center and save ARPA money.”

Maughan said whether the county will pursue other goals related to the site — such as building a new correctional facility — will be determined at a future meeting.

Maughan and Oklahoma County District 3 Commissioner Myles Davidson voted to support the purchase. Board Vice Chair Carrie Blumert, County Commissioner District 1, was not present Monday, but her first deputy, Cody Compton, voted “no” on her behalf.