The Jefferson County jail houses inmates who are arrested in the county's five cities. It's the only option for Beaumont, Port Arthur, Nederland, Groves and Port Neches, since those cities don't have jails in operation.
But the city of Beaumont is disputing the amount it has to pay the county.
Currently every city is charged $55 a day per inmate, but since June of 2011, the county auditor says Beaumont has only paid about 35% of that daily amount. So its outstanding bill stands at $825,000.
County officials tell 12News that the city believes once an inmate goes into the county jail, it's the county's responsibility.
But the county maintains that the policy has always been that the county doesn't start footing the bill until a city's inmate is formally charged.
Commissioner Bo Alfred is downplaying the conflict, he told us "We are in negotiations, we had a fruitful meeting for three hours, we continue to dialogue."
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