36 residents named to grand jury pool
After asking 200 Douglas County residents, leaders have found 36 people interested in serving on a grand jury that will review government operations.
Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Reed said Friday the prospective members will be subpoenaed in the coming week for a meeting with district judges Dave Gamble and Michael Gibbons, who will explain the process and answer questions.
Reed’s office mailed four batches of 50 questionnaires to residents whose names were taken from motor vehicle and voting lists. The residents could opt out of serving because of the time commitment for a grand jury, which will probably meet during evenings over the course of several months.
Reed said the judges will answer questions and explain the requirements of grand jury service. She said they will also question the prospective jurors and choose 17, plus a few alternates.
Gamble said the names of the jurors will probably be disclosed, but otherwise the group’s proceedings are secret. He said the jury selection process can probably be done in an afternoon.
“Once they’re selected, we will give them their charge and they will begin to meet. I expect it to happen in the next three or four weeks,” he said.
The jury will be asked to review government operations, and residents can submit potential topics of inquiry. The county has set aside $100,000 to pay for the probe, which the judges requested earlier in the year.
“I’m very glad we’re getting going on it,” said Gamble. “This is a good time of year for them to begin. They will have a substantial period of time to get going before the holidays. I think it is working out very well.”
Douglas County’s last grand jury met in 1993-1994.