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5 firms want to study embattled Montgomery County Jail

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 6:51 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 1:34 PM

Montgomery Co. Jail Incident Highlighted

Five firms submitted proposals to study operations of the Montgomery County Jail, the focus of a number of lawsuits by former inmates claiming mistreatment already costing the county more than $1 million.

The study is being commissioned by the independent Justice Advisory Committee, tasked with making jail policy, procedural and facility recommendations to the Board of Montgomery County Commissioners.

“We hope that this outside, objective jail consultant will be able to guide us in understanding in more depth than we are able to do on our own all the workings of the jail, all the processes and systems within the jail, so that we can have a clear idea of the recommendations we want to make,” said Rabbi Bernard Barsky, co-chair of justice committee.

RELATED: County spending on jail lawsuits tops $1M

The companies that submitted proposals by the deadline last week are:

- Brandstetter Carroll Inc., Cincinnati

- CGL Companies, Lexington, Ky.

- Federal Engineering, Fairfax, Va.

- KPMG, Denver, Colo.

- Pulitzer/Bogard & Associates, Lido Beach, N.Y.

Joe Spitler, Montgomery County’s criminal justice director, said about a dozen firms attended a mandatory pre-proposal meeting in October. It’s yet unclear how much the county may spend on the report.

Four lawsuits have been settled since August, pushing settlements and legal fees above $1 million. Six others are pending against the jail, including one involving Robert Richardson, who died May 19, 2012. Richardson’s lawsuit alleges several jail employees handcuffed and subdued him on his stomach outside a cell door while he was having a medical emergency.

RELATED: County jail deaths add sense of urgency to advisory group’s review

“We have to end up with significantly fewer lawsuits because taxpayers are paying a lot of money – too much money – to resolve these cases,” Montgomery County Commission President Dan Foley said last month.

Barsky said the committee has yet to review the five proposals. The 10-member justice committee was formed in March to quell calls for a federal civil rights investigation as the number of civil lawsuits against the jail climbed.

SPECIAL REPORT: Justice in the Jailhouse: Lawsuits, accusations plague county jails in the region

Committee members agreed in August to pursue the services of a professional consulting firm to help identify potential problems at the jail and offer possible remedies in a report to the committee before the group makes final recommendations to county commissioners.

The Justice Committee will select the winning proposal, which then must be reviewed by the county administrator and other county offices to find a funding source before any final contract is voted on by the county commission, likely sometime in January, Spitler said.

Montgomery County Jail book-ins number about 26,000 annually. The jail has a capacity of 914 beds, of which approximately 843 are occupied on any given day at a cost of $61.75 per inmate. The female population of the jail averages from 18 to 22 percent of the total population and has been as high as 25 percent, according to sheriff’s department figures.

RELATED: Montgomery County creates jail oversight committee

Montgomery County Jail lawsuit settlements

Four lawsuits of at least 10 cases filed against Montgomery County Jail staff have been settled out of court.

Amber Swink: $375,000, August 2017

Marsha Pate-Strickland: $75,000, Octber 2017

Darryl Wallace: $58,000, November 2017

Emily Evans: $380,000, November 2017

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Feds: Postal worker on disability got $94,000, was in 35 motorcycle races

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 8:42 AM

Dayton-area postal worker on disability rode in 35 motorcycle races

A former Dayton-area U.S. Postal Service worker is alleged to have participated in 35 motorcycle races during an 18-month period in which he was disabled or on light duty, according to federal court documents.

Jerry French was indicted last week in Dayton’s U.S. District Court on counts of making false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to medical personnel and the postal service which led to Office of Workers’ Compensation Benefits of $93,971.42.

French is at least the eighth area postal worker to be alleged of federal crimes in the past few years.

RELATED: 7 other times regional postal workers have been in trouble with the law

Former West Carrollton postal worker Laticha Schroyer had pleaded guilty in a case where she was seen vacationing while injured, but she recently asked to withdraw her plea by bill of information.

No defense attorney is listed for French in federal court documents, and no dates have been scheduled in the case.

An indictment filed March 15 detailed how French allegedly injured his knee while falling on ice when he was delivering mail on Feb. 2, 2011.

French filled out a claim for disability pay and was off from work for a year until returning to one hour of limited duty per day, the indictment said.

The Department of Labor accepted French’s injury as a sprained knee in April 2011, according to court documents.

The indictment said French allegedly told two doctors that he could not perform most work duties, that his pain level was 8 out of 10 and that he was in pain 24/7.

WATCH: Video shows postal worker stuffing mail down sweatpants

A doctor amended his report to say an MRI indicated a meniscus tear and the Department of Labor approved an arthroscopic surgery, the indictment said.

The indictment said that in October 2011, another doctor performed the surgery and later submitted a report showing there was no meniscus tear and that the knee was normal.

On Dec. 1, 2011, French completed a medical history form at Kettering Medical Center in which he stated he had extreme difficulty doing tasks such as usual work, housework, hobbies, recreational and sporting activities, the indictment said.

RELATED: Postal worker pleads guilty to delaying, destroying mail

French said, according to the document, that he had “moderate difficulty” doing activities including putting on socks, doling light activities, getting in and out of vehicles and sitting for one hour.

The indictment said in March 2012, a doctor reported French’s pain representations were out of proportion to the pathology.

In July 2012, French told a third doctor that he could no longer ride motorcycles because of his knee injury, according to the indictment.

RELATED: Local postal worker pleads guilty to embezzling nearly $15,000

The document said in September 2013, a Department of Labor form he submitted limited him to zero hours for lifting weight, walking, climbing, kneeling, bending, stooping and operating machinery.

In October 2013, French was interviewed by special agents from the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, the document said.

During that interview, French said he was physically unable to work, go up and down stairs, kneel, ride or race his motorcycles, pass a National Hot Rod Association physical, fill his nitrous oxide tank, drive a manual car or put pressure on his left leg.

The indictment said that from May 13, 2011, to Oct. 23, 2013, agents of the Inspector General observed French “participating in approximately thirty-five motorcycle races and one car race at various racetracks in Ohio and Indiana.”

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

The document also said agents saw French loading trailers, carrying equipment and moving metal tanks.

The indictment doesn’t explain why it was filed several years after the events and federal prosecutors didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

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Trial date set for Middletown man accused in fatal club shooting

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:59 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:59 AM

            Malcolm Franklin, charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault for allegedly killing Julian Johnson in May outside D&J Nite Spot in Middletown, appeared for a hearing Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 in Butler County Common Pleas Court with attorney Frank Schiavone, III. Schiavone has filed several motions to exclude evidence at trial. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Malcolm Franklin, charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault for allegedly killing Julian Johnson in May outside D&J Nite Spot in Middletown, appeared for a hearing Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 in Butler County Common Pleas Court with attorney Frank Schiavone, III. Schiavone has filed several motions to exclude evidence at trial. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A trial date has been set for a man charged with the fatal shooting outside a Middletown bar in May.

Malcolm Franklin, 27, formerly of Louisiana, is charged with murder as well as three counts of felonious assault for gun violence May 30, 2017 at D&J Nite spot.

MORE: Police, father of Middletown bar shooting victim fear retaliation

Franklin was in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday with his attorney Frank Schiavone IV, where Judge Charles Pater set a trial date of Aug. 20.

Franklin allegedly shot Julian Marquis Johnson, 23, outside the Elliott Drive bar during the early morning hours. Three others were injured by gunfire, according to Middletown police.

MORE: Attorney want evidence from fatal Middletown shooting thrown out

Middletown police Detective Jon Rawlins testified during a preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court that Franklin confessed to killing Johnson.

Defense attorneys filed motions to suppress statements Franklin made to police without an attorney present and the stop of his client after the shooting because there was no probable cause. After a hearing last month, that motion was denied by Pater.

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John Crawford shooting: Beavercreek wants separate trial from Walmart

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:57 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:57 AM

            Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams is shown in Walmart on Aug. 5, 2014, the day he shot and killed John Crawford III. Crawford was holding a BB/pellet rifle he took off a store shelf.
Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams is shown in Walmart on Aug. 5, 2014, the day he shot and killed John Crawford III. Crawford was holding a BB/pellet rifle he took off a store shelf.

The wrongful death civil rights lawsuit brought by John Crawford III’s parents against Beavercreek and Walmart has been scheduled for a February 2019 trial date, according to federal court records.

But the case could be split into two trials, if a federal judge grants a motion from the city of Beavercreek to separate the defendants.

RELATED: Deposition: Williams shot Crawford because he ‘was about to’ point a weapon

Dayton’s U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice scheduled the trial for Feb. 4, 2019 — a day shy of 4½ years after Crawford, 22, of Fairfield, was shot and killed by Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams in Walmart.

Beavercreek police responded after lone 911 caller Ronald Ritchie said he saw a black man carrying a rifle and waving it at people, including children. Police said Crawford, who was on his cell phone, didn’t respond to requests by Williams and Sgt. David Darkow to drop the item — a realistic-looking BB/pellet rifle he picked up from an open box in the store.

RELATED: Beavercreek officer who shot John Crawford III back on ‘full duty’

Crawford’s attorneys said Crawford had less than a second to hear and respond to anything officers said. Williams was cleared by a Greene County special grand jury in September 2014, and a federal investigation ended in 2017 without criminal charges.

Beavercreek attorneys filed a motion to split the case. They argued that the Beavercreek defendants are facing civil rights allegations such as excessive force, the police department’s supervision, training and control of its officers in circumstances requiring the use of force.

RELATED: Feds won’t charge Beavercreek officer in Walmart shooting

The Beavercreek attorneys said the Walmart defendants face state law claims involving issues of negligence and premises liability concerning the packaging, storage, shelving and safeguarding of pellet rifles.

“Due to the vastly different sets of facts supporting the claims against these sets of Defendants,” Beavercreek attorneys wrote, “severance of the claims and separate trials are appropriate.”

Rice has not ruled on the motion.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

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Driver convicted in 55-mile police chase up Interstate 75 sentenced

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 6:37 PM

            David Nehmer, 27, of Paw Paw, Michigan was sentenced to 30 months in prison. CONTRIBUTED
David Nehmer, 27, of Paw Paw, Michigan was sentenced to 30 months in prison. CONTRIBUTED

A Michigan man who led state troopers on a 55-mile chase from Piqua to Allen County in November was sentenced Monday in Miami County Common Pleas Court to 30 months in prison.

David Nehmer, 27, of Paw Paw, Michigan, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and six months in jail for driving while under the influence. The sentences will be served concurrently in the penitentiary. Nehmer’s driver’s license was also suspended for five years.

TRENDING: Officers descend on Dayton neighborhood following multi-city chase

Nehmer was arrested in the early morning hours on Interstate 75 near Bluffton. The pursuit began in Piqua after troopers received a report of a vehicle driving on its rims.

The pursuit of Nehmer — wanted on warrants out of Michigan — included speeds of more than 120 mph, troopers said.

Janna Parker, an assistant county prosecutor, said Nehmer was on parole in Michigan at the time of the chase that included what she called “insanely fast speeds” on tire rims. She said Nehmer put not only himself but multiple police officers and countless motorists at risk.

Judge Christopher Gee sentenced Nehmer, calling the pursuit “a horrific and very dangerous chase.” Gee said Nehmer was fortunate no one, including him, was injured.

“This kind of behavior cannot be condoned in any way,” Gee said.

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