Sheriff terminates jail commander

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Former Graham County Jail Commander Tim Graver was terminated Friday after a review of findings from an independent investigation regarding a sexual harassment claim.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – After 17 years at the helm of the Graham County Adult Detention Facility, Tim Graver is no longer with the department. 

On Friday, Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred terminated Graver after reviewing the findings of an independent investigation regarding an allegation of sexual harassment from a detention officer. Graver had been on paid administrative leave since June while Graham County’s insurance provider (who also handles insurance for 13 other counties in Arizona) investigated the claim. 

“The investigation was given back to us, we reviewed it, and he no longer works for us,” Allred said. 

Unlike other employees who have fought their terminations by going through the Merit Commission of Graham County Human Resources, the jail commander position is an “at-will” employee and as such can be terminated at the whim of the employer. 

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Graham County Jail Commander Tim Graver

“It was a totally independent investigation; totally independent away from me,” Allred said. “The investigators did their thing. I didn’t call and have a conversation with the investigators. I didn’t call and have conversations with anybody who was interviewed about any of this stuff. They did their investigation and then brought me their investigation and I saw what it showed and made my decision off those things.” 

Graver was influential in keeping the old jail running and with the construction of the new, $25 million, 68,000-square-foot-facility, which is being paid by a jail district half-cent sales tax that began July 1, 2015, and is expected to be in effect until July 1, 2040. The tax passed by just 63 votes out of nearly 7,000 cast in the November 2014 election. 

“He did a really good job for Graham County running the jail, but the decision to terminate can’t be made on just that,” Allred said. 

Graver’s replacement has yet to be chosen, and the jail is still functioning with the sheriff, Undersheriff Jeff McCormies and lieutenants taking turns at the helm in the meantime. 

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