Montgomery County Commissioners call for federal investigation into jail

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) --- There have been a number of complaints.

Now the commissioners are saying too many lawsuits are being filed for alleged mistreatment and they want something done about it.

There's video of another controversial pepper spraying incident at the Montgomery County Jail. It was taken last October. Charles Wade is the inmate.

"They were pepper spraying him so much so to the other deputies started coughing When some of the inmates begin to pound on the jail, they turned around and told them they were going to be next," said local civil rights leader Bishop Richard Cox.

"You're next, you keep it up, you are next," a correction's officer is heard saying on the video to another inmate locked behind a door.

The video was posted online by David Esrati and could be another headache for Sheriff Phhil Plummer.

County commissioners said there are already seven pending civil lawsuits against the county for civil rights violations at the jail.

"I have a great deal of concern and anguish over these allegations of civil rights violations," said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge.

"We haven't taken this lightly at all. The sheriff is another elected official and we are deeply concerned about what's happening in the jail," said Commissioner Debbie Lieberman.

Commissioners said they met with the sheriff today, February 7, 2017 about the jail allegations and the lawsuits and it didn't go well.

"We have offered to work with the sheriff to put together a plan with community input to address issues and challenges in the jail and he declined that path," said Commissioner Dan Foley.

So commissioner sent a letter to the Justice Department today asking the government to look into alleged misconduct at the jail.

One civil rights leader isn't sure the letter will do much good.

"Because the Trump Administration is in charge of the DOJ and the sheriff being chair of the Republican party, is a staunch Trump supporter so that letter will go in the file 13," said Cox.

The inmate in the video is filing a federal lawsuit.

That will make eight lawsuits against the jail in the last 3 or 4 years.

We reached out to Sheriff Plummer about the allegations. He said he won't respond until tomorrow.


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) -- The Montgomery County Commissioners are calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the Montgomery County Jail after allegations of misconduct.

Commissioner President Dan Foley and commissioners Debbie Lieberman and Judy Dodge, sent a letter today Tuesday, February 7, 2017 to acting Assistant Attorney General, Tom Wheeler.

It says in part "we are very concerned about the manner in which Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer is operating the County jail. There have been numerous allegations of violations of the requirement of the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Criminal Code."

The letter ends with a request for a federal investigation into "potential civil rights violations and allegations of improper use of force against inmates".

Today, Tuesday February 7, 2017, the commissioners met with Sheriff Plummer to discuss the allegations and issues and form a plan, we're told Plummer declined the offer. Sheriff Plummer did not speak on the issue today but said he will address it tomorrow.

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