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Former Cuyahoga County jail director sentenced to 9 months behind bars for dereliction of duty

CLEVELAND — Former Cuyahoga County Jail Director Ken Mills was sentenced to nine months in jail Friday, Oct. 8, after he was convicted of dereliction of duty.

Retired Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Patricia Cosgrove oversaw the case as a visiting judge and called conditions at the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center “horrific” under Mills’ watch, noting a number of inhumane measures he took like shutting off the water and refusing to feed inmates.

“This is the United States of America,” Cosgrove said. “This is not a third-world country. There’s no excuse to treat other human beings in this manner.”

Mills was convicted last month.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Cosgrove’s sentence will give Mills a chance to experience the criminal justice system from a different perspective.

“As a prisoner himself, the defendant will learn what it really means to depend on the public servants charged to manage jails,” Yost said.

Mills was also accused of making false statements about the conditions inside jail that got so bad because of overcrowding that eight inmates died in 2018.

The former director is among 10 Cuyahoga County employees who were accused of malfeasance at the jail. They are:

Idris-Farid Clark: Former corrections officer, sentenced to 18 months in prison for attempted felonious assault, extortion and unlawful restraint.

Stephen Thomas: Former corrections officer, received two years in prison for bribery, theft, and bringing an illegal telecommunications device into the jail.

Nicholas Evans: Former corrections officer, sentenced to nine months in prison for assault and tampering with evidence.

Martin Devring: Former corrections officer, received 30 days in jail for tampering with records and dereliction of duty.

Marvella Sullivan: Former corrections officer, sentenced to 60 days in jail for attempted bribery and drug charges.

Robert Marsh: Former corrections officer, received 30 days in jail for assault.

Timothy Dugan: Former corrections officer, ordered to serve 10 days in jail for attempted abduction and assault.

Warden Eric Ivey: Former associate warden, sentenced probation for obstructing justice and falsification.

John Wilson: Former corrections officer, sentenced to three years probation for assault.

Two inmates were charged in connection with the investigation. Lamar Speights received a 30-month prison sentence for bribery, money laundering, and bringing drugs into a detention facility. Alexander Foster was placed on probation for bribery and obstructing justice.