O’Malley is Minnesota Jail Administrator of the Year


The job description of a jail administrator is one that wouldn’t get too many applicants lining up to take on their duties. It is a position that is constantly under pressure to meet budget constraints, sometimes unrealistic state mandates and the constant threat of lawsuits that keep the rules in constant state of change. It isn’t a glamorous position and it doesn’t get a lot of recognition for the public service role it performs.
So, it was a rare day in the spotlight for Wright County Jail Administrator Patrick O’Malley at the Sept. 24 board meeting when Sheriff Joe Hagerty presented him with a plaque after O’Malley was named Minnesota Jail Administrator of the Year. With 85 county jails in Minnesota, the odds were long that O’Malley would win, but, after hearing that his jail employees had nominated him, he was both stunned and honored when he received the news.
 “I was very humbled,” O’Malley said. “I’ve only had the job since 2010 and there have been a lot of challenges. When you’re in charge, you don’t have a buffer person to go to and make sure you’re making the right decisions. The buck stops with you. You can’t pass off the blame or responsibility for your decisions, because the responsible falls on you. That doesn’t always make you the most popular person because our employees have some really bad days.”
Somehow O’Malley has been able to traverse those waters and earn both the respect and admiration of his employees, who cited several positive leadership qualities in O’Malley’s nomination documents.
More information apears in this week's Messenger.