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History Made: First Jail Board, First Female Warden

August 7th, 2021

History was made on Friday in two ways. Not only did the Potter County Jail Board of Inspectors hold its inaugural meeting, the board installed the first female jail warden in county history. Angela Milford, who has served as a corrections officer and deputy warden for 28 years, was unanimously appointed by Jail Board members (from left) Glenn Drake, Andy Watson, Paul Heimel, Nancy Grupp, Barry Hayman and Stephen Minor. Also during the organizational meeting, members unanimously elected Commissioner Heimel as chair, Sheriff Drake as vice chair, Commissioner Grupp as secretary, and Commissioner Hayman as controller. A separate unanimous vote established the chief clerk of Potter County, currently Jessica Giebel, as administrator, a non-voting position that is subject to concurrence by the Board of Commissioners. Jail Board meetings will be held at noon on the first Friday of each month in the Gunzburger Building and are open to the public. County Solicitor Tom Shaffer has been advising the commissioners on legal and procedural matters.

Potter had been one of just two counties in the state that still required its elected sheriff to serve in a dual role as jail warden. In changing to a Jail Board system the commissioners said, “The sheriff-as-warden system harkens back to an era when operating a jail was geared toward punishment, confinement and removing menaces from society. That system was not designed to administer state-mandated services such as mental health/addiction treatment and other changes in the corrections field.” McKean is now the only other Pennsylvania county in which the sheriff is also required to serve as jail warden.

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