No Convict Cleaners Here

Convicts in City Hall will save one community a little money, but some say it's just not worth the risk.

For three months now Live Oak Mayor Sonny Nobles has been filling the role of janitor. Ever since the city's cleaning contract ended, it has been debated whether to allow the Suwannee County sheriff's inmate work crew clean City Hall.

Mayor Sonny Nobles says, "There were liability issues. Our insurance carrier told us that inmates would not be covered by our liability, so we would be solely responsible for any occurrence that happens. Inmates require pretty much direct supervision."

Some council members came up with the idea to use inmates in order to save money. Others are against it because of the liability issue, and safety concerns expressed by some of the female City Hall employees.

Julie Taylor, a Live Oak City Hall employee, says, "It doesn't bother me. I come from a law enforcement background. Being around inmates and felons really has never been an issue for me, but I can see where others who haven't had the same introduction would probably find it scary."

John Hale, the inmate work crew supervisor, says, "These aren't hard core criminals. Most of them have misdemeanor charges. The average stay in this program is around three and a half to four weeks."

Mayor Nobles has decided against using the Suwannee County sheriff's inmate work crew. He's recommending to the City Council to create a part-time position to have someone clean City Hall.