Associate warden, two guards at county jail indicted
CLEVELAND (AP) — An associate warden at a troubled county jail in Cleveland has been indicted for ordering a corrections officer to turn off his body camera during an emergency where an inmate died, a corrections officer at the jail has been charged with pummeling an inmate to the point he needed surgery, and a second corrections officer has been charged with preventing a nurse from caring for the beaten prisoner, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday.
The indictments are the latest allegations concerning the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center where inspectors from the U.S. Marshal’s Service concluded in November that conditions were “inhumane” and unsafe for prisoners and staff. Five other corrections officers at the overcrowded lockup in Cleveland were indicted earlier this month on charges ranging from civil rights violations to felonious assault.
The FBI is conducting a civil rights investigation of prisoner treatment at the jail and is investigating, along with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, allegations of public corruption regarding current and former Cuyahoga County officials and mistreatment of inmates.
Associate Warden Eric Ivey, 53, was charged Thursday with felony tampering with evidence and falsification, a misdemeanor. Ivey served as warden until his demotion in February. The Attorney General’s Office said Ivey is also charged with falsification for lying to investigators about what happened last Aug. 28 when an inmate died from a drug overdose.
Court records don’t indicate whether Ivey has an attorney.
Corrections officer John Wilson, 37, was indicted on charges of felonious assault, interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint. The latter two charges are misdemeanors. The Attorney General’s Office said Wilson on Feb. 5, 2018, repeatedly struck an inmate in the head, knocking out teeth and causing one tooth to become lodged in the man’s nasal cavity. The inmate required reconstructive facial surgery.
A message seeking comment was left with Wilson’s attorney on Thursday.
Corrections Cpl. Jason Jozwiak, 36, is charged with falsification and interfering with civil rights, both misdemeanor charges. Authorities said he prevented a jail nurse from treating the inmate assaulted by Wilson as the man sat in a restraint chair with a broken nose and teeth.
Court records don’t indicate if Jozwiak has an attorney.
The five other corrections officers were indicted for three separate incidents. Authorities said one corrections office assaulted an inmate secured in a restraint chair with pepper foam after another officer assaulted him in July 2018.
A guard was charged with tampering with records, dereliction of duty and interfering with civil rights. He is accused of falsely stating that a jail pod was secure when an inmate was in medical distress.
Two other guards were indicted on charges that included felonious assault for allegedly using excessive force in March on an inmate in a restraint chair. The Attorney General’s Office said the man suffered a concussion.
The five previously charged corrections officers have pleaded not guilty.
Seven inmates died in the jail between June and October of last year. An eighth inmate died in December. Four of the inmates killed themselves, records from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office show.