Riley Joins Call for Jail Site Study : Corrections: Two supervisors urge review of whether to move Musick facility to El Toro.


Just days after publicly blasting a proposal by County Supervisor Roger R. Stanton to relocate the James A. Musick Branch Jail from Irvine to the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, Board Chairman Thomas F. Riley joined Stanton on Monday in urging his colleagues to authorize a study of the proposed move.

The authorization is expected to be considered by the Board of Supervisors today.

Riley said his statement last week criticizing Stanton’s proposal and reiterating that any new jail facility ought to be built in Santa Ana “was an off-the-cuff remark.”

He said that subsequent conversations with Stanton and other county officials convinced him of the need to study the relocation idea.


“It’s one of those things that happens every once in a while in communications,” Riley said, adding that last week’s comments were prompted in part by his irritation at not being consulted in advance regarding Stanton’s proposal.

Riley’s 5th District includes the Musick facility, while Stanton’s 1st District includes Santa Ana.

Dave Kiff, Riley’s executive assistant, explained that the supervisor “supports making the study. If you asked him, ‘Do you support moving the Musick facility to the base?’ he’s not ready to say yes or no on that. But he supports the idea of studying it,” despite the fact that he “still believes that Santa Ana remains a viable site.”

A two-page letter appearing over Riley’s and Stanton’s signatures urges the board, among other things, to:

* Direct the county administrative office to prepare an application to the federal government for acquisition of approximately 300 acres of the El Toro base site for possible relocation of the Musick jail. The base is expected to close by 1999.

* Authorize a study on the feasibility of such a move.

* Direct the General Services Agency to assess the value of the 100-acre Musick jail site for possible sale.



“Challenges require the best of innovation and creativity that is available,” the letter reads in part. “Over the last decade, Orange County has stepped up to the challenge of meeting our major infrastructure needs. . . . Part of that infrastructure includes jails. This proposal will move the county forward in a proactive, achievable and cost-effective manner.”

Stanton could not be reached for comment Monday.

Stanton’s proposal calls for shutting down and selling the Musick jail--a minimum-security facility equipped to house 1,256 inmates in Irvine--and using the proceeds to construct a jail facility on part of the 4,700-acre Marine base.

Because the federal government encourages local governments to use part of closed bases for jail facilities, the county might be able to get the El Toro property for free, county officials have said.

The relocation of the Musick facility, Stanton has said, not only would give the county a facility in a remote area, but would also allow a residential community in Lake Forest, which is adjacent to the Irvine facility, to get rid of a jail and the problems associated with it.

If authorized, Kiff said, the feasibility study should be completed within 45 days.

Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates had not yet had time to consider the proposal, a spokesman for Gates said Monday.

“He says he just recently received some input regarding (it) and has not yet had time to come to any conclusion,” Lt. Dan Martini said. “He certainly would like to analyze the information before” commenting.