Former Cuyahoga County Jail Officer Indicted in Connection With Inmate Death

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Former Cuyahoga County Jail Officer Indicted in Connection With Inmate Death

Longtime Cuyahoga County corrections officer Martin Devring was fired in December in connection with the death of Joseph Arquillo, an inmate who died in August of 2018. The coroner's office found Arquillo had fentanyl, heroin and cocaine in his system when he became ill at the county jail. He was subsequently taken to the Cleveland Clinic where he passed away. His was one of eight deaths that occurred in the jail in 2018, a horrific stretch that precipitated the involvement of the U.S. Marshals and an ongoing corruption investigation now in the hands of the Ohio Attorney General's office into the conduct of various county officials and employees.

Devring had been under investigation for falsifying records pertaining to rounds, which by policy should be conducted every 15 minutes. He had been accused of failing to do rounds in the area where Arquillo was housed and then lying about it afterward.

Four months after being fired, Devring has now been indicted in connection with his actions that day, as too four other corrections officers for unrelated incidents including assaults on restrained inmates. Devring's charges include tampering with evidence, dereliction of duty and interfering with civil rights.

So, to recap:

Former jail boss Ken Mills was fired in 2018 and shortly thereafter indicted for lying to investigators and county council. County HR chief Ed Morales has announced his retirement. Interim jail boss George has likewise announced his departure. Former nursing director Gary Brack was summarily fired last year on personal direction of the county executive after he told county council about his serious concerns about medical and nursing staffing at the facility.

Armond Budish is in the second year of his second term after winning re-election and, barring an indictment, will likely be gracing us with the brand of dynamic and accountable leadership that begat this whole mess all the way until 2022.

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