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Former Cuyahoga County Jail Director Ken Mills sentenced to 9 months behind bars in dereliction of duty case

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

CLEVELAND — Former Cuyahoga County Jail Director Ken Mills was sentenced to serve nine months behind bars on Friday, which comes after he was found guilty of dereliction of duty and falsification last month.

It was the maximum punishment Mills faced. 

“I don’t know how you can live with yourself and look at yourself in the mirror,” the judge said after Mills was placed in handcuffs once his sentence was announced.

Mills chose not to speak.

“No thank you, judge," he said when asked if he wanted to make a comment.

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“As a prisoner himself, the defendant will learn what it really means to depend on the public servants charged to manage jails,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said following the sentencing announcement. “Prosecutors Matt Meyer, Dan Kasaris and Linda Powers from my office – aided by investigators with the FBI, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and Cleveland Division of Police – did a masterful job of navigating the case and fighting to restore justice.”

According to Yost's office, under Mills' administration, the Cuyahoga County Regional Jail "failed to safely, securely and lawfully house Cuyahoga County inmates." They added that issues at the jail were compounded by "Mills' false statements and caused inmates to suffer unbearable conditions amid overcrowding."

Mills resigned in 2018 after the allegations came to light.

“Eight inmates died at the facility during the second half of 2018,” according to a press release from Yost’s office.

We streamed the entire sentencing hearing, which you can watch in the player below: 

 As 3News reported last summer, the indictment of Mills followed a 2018 report by the U.S. Marshals’ office, which found inmates were being treated inhumanely, including not being given proper medical care. Peter Elliot, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio, called the matter a “serious problem” and that said the system appeared “broken.”

Mills is among 10 Cuyahoga County Jail employees who have been charged for negligent acts against inmates. The others are listed below:

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