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Ex-Warden Eric Ivey Gets 1 Year Probation In Plea Deal

Former Cuyahoga County Jail Warden Eric Ivey (left) and his lawyer, Jonathan McDonald, in court awaiting sentencing. [WKYC]
Former Cuyahoga County Jail Warden Eric Ivey (left) and his lawyer, Jonathan McDonald, in court awaiting sentencing. [WKYC]

Former Cuyahoga County Jail Warden Eric Ivey will serve one year of probation for his involvement in the August 2018 overdose death of an inmate.

Ivey pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing justice and one count of falsification. Both are misdemeanor charges. Cuyahoga County Judge Nancy Fuerst sentenced Ivey to 180 days in jail for each count, to be served concurrently, but then suspended the six-month jail sentence.

As part of his plea agreement, Ivey will cooperate with the state in several cases relating to the jail over the next year. He also will resign Thursday from his current position as associate warden.

“You have severely breached the public trust. I think you know you have done that,” Judge Fuerst said to Ivey before handing down her sentence. “And what you have done is serious. There will be rolling ramifications here on the civil and criminal side.”

On Aug. 28, 2018, a jail guard allegedly failed to check on inmate Joseph Arquillo and provide him with medical attention. Arquillo was later pronounced dead of an overdose. According to the state prosecutor, Ivey ordered guards to turn off their body cameras when Arquillo was removed from his cell and transferred to a hospital. Ivey also later lied to investigators about why he had instructed cameras be shut off.

Corrections officer Martin Devring has been charged with dereliction of duty, interfering with civil rights and tampering with records in the incident. The case against Devring is scheduled for trial in November.

“I accept full responsibility for my actions and I have the utmost remorse,” Ivey told the judge before sentencing. “This is costing my entire career – something I have worked extremely hard for. I had a position that was my dream job and due to the poor decision that I made, I accept responsibility.”

Prosecutor Matthew Meyer had asked the court to sentence Ivey to time in jail, citing the seriousness of his actions.

“The body cameras, which were an issue, would have captured the audio from the witnesses who were at the scene,” said Meyer. “We don’t have audio because Mr. Ivey gave an order to the sergeant in charge of the jail.”

Fuerst also sentenced Ivey to 200 hours of community service and a $1000 fine for each charge.

Annie Wu is the deputy editor of digital content for Ideastream Public Media.