by DOUG NADVORNICK & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & S & lt;/span & pokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich now has authority over the officers who work at both of the county's major correctional institutions. During a ceremony at the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute last Friday Knezovich commissioned the 102 men and women who work at the Geiger Correctional Center as Sheriff's Department employees. Those employees had worked for the county Corrections Department, not for the sheriff.
The officers at the Spokane County Jail also work under Knezovich.
Sheriff's officials say Captain John McGrath will continue as Geiger's interim director.
The Geiger employees supervise as many as 600 low- and medium-security inmates. Many of them are either in the last part of their incarcerations or awaiting hearings or trials.
The Geiger facility, made of World War II-era buildings located on airport land, is due to be a county correctional facility until 2013, when the county's lease ends. Airport officials have already said they won't renew that. Sheriff's officials have identified 10 sites they're considering for a new county correctional facility. They expect to ask voters in November for money to help them build that facility.