Jail finalists being interviewed

Robin Fornoff

Four candidates on Curry County’s short list for jail administrator face the jury today.

County Manager Lance Pyle and six members of an panel appointed by Pyle are expected to complete candidate interviews by the end of the day and make their recommendation to replace former Administrator Keith Norwood, who resigned Sept. 13.

Interim Administrator Tori Sandoval has been in charge of the jail since Norwood’s departure and is among the final four.

The candidates each offer extensive backgrounds in law enforcement or corrections. They include:

• Sandoval, in her fifth year as a county employee, has steadily risen through the ranks at the jail. She was a detention officer, sergeant, lieutenant, commander, juvenile detention administrator and adult assistant administrator prior to being named interim administrator.

• Gerry D. Billy, a retired six-term (24 years) sheriff of Licking County, Ohio. Billy also owns and operates a law enforcement and corrections consulting firm, Billy & Associates in Newark, Ohio.

• Joe Sprunk of Albuquerque, who most recently served as chief of security for a private detention center in Boca Raton, Fla. Sprunk also served as warden of Cibola County Correctional Center and has worked in corrections since 1981.

• Michael D. Williams of Selah, Wash., a retired 16-year division chief at the Yakima County, Wash., Department of Corrections. Williams’ career in Yakima County corrections began in 1985 as a corrections officer and he served as a sergeant and lieutenant prior to promotion to division chief.

“I’m looking,” said Pyle, “for a detention administrator that has the experience, knowledge and proven leadership on how to operate a safe, secure, efficient and cost-effective facility for the residents of Curry County.”

Pyle said the panel will chose one candidate based on a series of questions. Each candidate will be asked the same questions and panel members will award points. Candidates will also receive rankings for additional factors based on experience and educational backgrounds, Pyle said.

The final selection will be based on a consensus by the panel, Pyle said.

Pyle said he expects to announce the final selection next week. If the final candidate requests a contract, Pyle said only county commissioners can authorize and approve the final decision.

The pay range to be offered the person eventually selected ranges from $68,259 to $85,324.

Commissioners are scheduled to meet Tuesday.