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Grand Jury Indicts Former Cuyahoga County Jail Warden, More Guards

Demonstrators hold signs outside the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in January. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
Demonstrators hold signs outside the Cuyahoga County Justice Center in January.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury has indicted the former warden of the troubled Cuyahoga County Jail and two corrections officers, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office announced Thursday.

Prosecutors accused former warden Eric J. Ivey of ordering an officer to turn off his body camera during an incident involving the death of an inmate. Yost’s office accused Ivey of lying to investigators about the incident.

Ivey has been charged with tampering with evidence, a felony, and falsification, a misdemeanor.

The grand jury also indicted corrections officers John Wilson and Jason A. Jozwiak.

Yost’s office accused Wilson of hitting an inmate in the head, knocking out his teeth and sending one tooth into his nasal cavity. Wilson has been charged with felonious assault and misdemeanor counts of unlawful restraint and interfering with civil rights.

Prosecutors said Jozwiak prevented a nurse from caring for the injured inmate, who sat in a restraint chair. The inmate had a broken nose and teeth and needed facial reconstructive surgery, Yost’s office said.

Wilson is a member of the Special Response Team, a group referred to by inmates as the “men in black,” according to last year’s U.S. Marshals Service report on the jail. The report found that inmates made a “strong and consistent allegation of brutality” and “cruel treatment” by the SRT.

The report also accused Ivey of punishing inmates in restrictive housing by giving them insufficient food.

The county later demoted Ivey to the position of associate warden because he violated county policy by supervising for a time his wife’s supervisor at the jail, a county spokeswoman said.

This is the latest round of indictments from an investigation into the jail and administration of County Executive Armond Budish. Prosecutors have also charged former jail director Kenneth Mills, five corrections officers and members of Budish’s administration.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.