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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Police: Man shot in head drives to Speedway in Dayton for help

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 10:59 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 11:30 PM

Man shot in Dayton

A man who was shot in the head Tuesday night drove to a Speedway gas station for help.

The victim was shot through his vehicle’s window in the 100 block of Huffman Avenue near Jersey Street. The shooting was reported just before 10 p.m. after the victim drove himself to Speedway, 1556 Huffman Ave., to get help, police said.

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According to a 911 call from the store, the victim went into the store and said he was shot while inside his car by another man driving a maroon vehicle.

The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, Dayton police said. His name, age and condition were not immediately available.

Huffman Avenue at South Smithville Road is blocked as police investigate.

Police have not released any suspect information or whether anyone is in custody.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Police, medics called for stabbing victim in his late 70s

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 8:20 PM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 3:46 AM

Police, medics called for stabbing victim in his 70s

Springfield police are investigating after a 79-year-old man was stabbed Tuesday evening.

The incident was reported around 8 p.m. in the 2100 block of Gerald Drive. The victim, who has not been identified, was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital.

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According to his neighbors, he was alert and talking to medics following the incident, and he said he was stabbed by a relative.

Everyone knows the victim, neighbors said. They described him as a nice man who is quick to help out his neighbors.

According to initial reports, the victim suffered wounds to the chest and leg.

Springfield police Lt. Jeff Williams said detectives were at the scene and that no further information would be released until Wednesday.

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The incident remains under investigation and no one is in custody, Williams said.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Grand jury next for Springboro arrest streamed live on Facebook

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 3:21 PM

Springboro Sgt. Randy Peagler was questioned about a police stop streamed on Facebook Live.

A Warren County grand jury will review the case against Samuel Ronan, the former political candidate arrested earlier this month after a struggle with Springboro police.

Judge Gary Loxley bound over the case against Ronan, 28, of Springboro, after ruling there was probable cause to indicate he obstructed justice on June 9.

RELATED: Ex-political candidate free after alleged Springboro road rage

Loxley ruled immediately after a hearing on Tuesday in Warren County Court.

During the hearing, Assistant County Prosecutor Amy Gill and defense lawyer James Calhoun questioned Springboro Sgt. Randy Peagler, the officer who reportedly pulled over Ronan after observing him in a road-rage incident.

Peagler told Gill he followed Ronan for about 0.3 miles after turning on his lights and sirens and that Ronan went back to his car and began walking toward him with a blue bag and his cellphone, flash on and recording for Facebook Live.

RELATED: Former political candidate jailed after Springboro police stop

Peagler said he hurt his foot and suffered road rash wrestling with Ronan, who recently contested the re-election of Congressman Steve Chabot in the May primary.

Calhoun established that Ronan, a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves, never put his hands on Peagler during the altercation and that Ronan, although permitted to carry a concealed weapon, was apparently unarmed.

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Calhoun also emphasized that Ronan said he didn’t see Peagler’s police cruiser until he pulled into the parking lot of his apartment complex and said there was no “overt act” that supported the felony charge.

Calhoun said Ronan was within his rights to ask why he was being arrested before getting on the ground as ordered repeatedly by Peagler, with his gun and then a stun gun drawn.

But Loxley agreed with Gill, who argued Ronan “absolutely” obstructed justice by resisting being taken into custody by Peagler and another officer who assisted in handcuffing him.

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In addition to the felony, misdemeanor charges of resisting arresting and failure to comply with an officer were also bound over for presentation to the grand jury by county prosecutors.

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Ex-political candidate free after alleged Springboro road rage

Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 @ 1:23 PM

Springboro Sgt. Randy Peagler was questioned about a police stop streamed on Facebook Live.

A former political candidate was released from the Warren County jail today on his own recognizance in a case also prompting a press release from Springboro police.

A police report released today shows the incident resulting in the arrest of Samuel Ronan, 28, of Springboro began after a patrolman observed as a “road rage incident between two vehicles.” It also indicates dispatch advised the patrolman that Ronan had a “concealed weapon license” and that Ronan began recording with his cellphone as he exited his car also carrying “a medium-size blue bag in his left hand.”

The report indicates Ronan was arrested after a struggle with police in a parking lot near his home.

A police report released today shows the incident resulting in the arrest of Samuel Ronan, 28, of Springboro began after a patrolman observed as a “road rage incident between two vehicles.” It also indicates dispatch advised the patrolman that Ronan had a “concealed weapon license” and that Ronan began recording with his cellphone as he exited his car also carrying “a medium-size blue bag in his left hand.”

RELATED: Former political candidate arrested in Springboro

Court records indicate that during today’s arraignment, Judge Gary Loxley set a trial for for June 19 on charges Ronan resisted arrest and failed to comply with the order of a Springboro police officer early Saturday.

Loxley also scheduled at the same time on June 19 a preliminary hearing on a charge of obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony.

Ronan’s case was referred to the public defender, although he is employed and a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves, according to a docket entry in Warren County Court.

However, Ronan might not be able to afford a lawyer, prompting the court to assign it to the public defender, according to the entry filed after his appearance via video link between the jail and court in Lebanon.

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Also today, Springboro police issued a press release concerning the case.

“Mr. Ronan was observed, by a Springboro police officer, operating his vehicle in an unsafe manner. The Springboro police officer attempted to stop Mr. Ronan, for the traffic violation, by activating his overhead lights. Mr. Ronan ignored this signal to stop and continued to drive. The Springboro officer then activated his siren. Mr. Ronan ignored this attempt to stop him and continued to drive. Mr. Ronan then led the Springboro police officer on a brief pursuit, turning into an apartment complex.

MORE: Springboro teacher’s drug bust under scrutiny

“Mr. Ronan stops his vehicle and immediately exits. Mr. Ronan refuses to comply with verbal commands and is reaching into his pocket. Mr. Ronan then points an object at the Springboro officer, which is in his right hand. Mr. Ronan continues to ignore verbal commands and begins walking toward the officer. Mr. Ronan is taken into custody and charged with failure to comply with order or signal of police officer, obstructing official business and resisting arrest.

“The Springboro Division of Police is aware a small portion of this encounter has received significant exposure on social media. While some of the exposure has been negative, we would like to convey our appreciation to many of our residents and those who have expressed their support of the division until ALL facts are reviewed and decided in a court hearing to be held at a later time,” a press release issued by Lt. Dan Bentley said.

Locally, Ronan ran against Congressman Steve Chabot in the May Republican primary, and two years ago as a Democrat, he contested the election of State Rep. Scott Lipps.

Ronan also ran for Democratic National Committee chairman in 2017 and gained attention in appearances on CNN.

He was booked into the county jail at 2:46 a.m. Saturday by Springboro police.

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