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.
“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:
- Martin Devring, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to tampering with records and dereliction of duty related to the death of an inmate.
- Stephen Thomas, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of felony bribery, theft in office and illegal conveyance of a telecommunications device into the jail.
- Marvella Sullivan, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to 60 days in jail and community service after pleading guilty to attempted bribery and drug trafficking.
- Idris-Farid Clark, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted felonious assault, extortion and unlawful restraint.
- Robert Marsh, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to assault.
- Nicholas Evans, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to nine months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted felonious assault and tampering with evidence.
- Timothy Dugan, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to attempted abduction and assault.
- Eric Ivey, the former jail warden, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and falsification, resigned from his position of associate warden and was sentenced to community control.
- John Wilson, a former corrections officer, was sentenced to three years of probation after pleading guilty to assault.
- Lamar Speights, a former inmate at the jail, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to bribery, money laundering and illegal conveyance of drugs into the detention facility.
- Alexander Foster, a former jail inmate, was sentenced to 18 months of community control after pleading guilty to bribery and obstructing justice.