By Brian Maass
GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A CBS4 Investigation has learned 14 Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies have been given various levels of discipline tied to the systematic mistreatment of a jail inmate. Jefferson County authorities call it the broadest disciplinary event at the jail that they can recall.
“There’s values in this organization to treat people with dignity and respect,” said Jeffco Sheriff Jeff Shrader. ”And so the fact people did not adhere to the values of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is disappointing to me.”
Shrader confirmed that one sergeant resigned during the investigation, three deputies resigned when the investigation was completed, seven deputies received written reprimands and three newer deputies were given “corrective memoranda” in connection with ongoing mistreatment of prisoner Logan McDaniel.
McDaniel, 60, a frequent inmate at the jail, is “challenging” according to the sheriff, seeking to aggravate deputies through insults, threats and racial slurs.
“He got to them,” said Shrader.
According to a just completed internal investigation, deputies retaliated against McDaniel by intentionally sloshing buckets of dirty mop water into his cell, piping music into his cell that they knew would upset him, showing him pictures that would aggravate him and intentionally kicking his food on to the floor.
“He was asked to eat it anyway, eat the food that had fallen on the floor.”
Over time, Shrader said McDaniel filed at least 30 official notices complaining about the mistreatment and asking for relief.
“Those weren’t appropriately handled,” said the Shrader. ”We couldn’t even find them in the file at the completion of the investigation.”
He blamed the mishandling of the complaints on Sgt. Jim Shires, who retired before the investigation was complete.
Via email, Shires told CBS4, “I would challenge the number of 30. At most it was about half a dozen. I will also say there were many others that failed to follow up with things.”
“In my opinion there were at least three others up my chain of command that failed in their duties as well,” wrote Shires.
Shrader said he was most disturbed to learn that sometimes, at least two deputies worked together to harass McDaniel, “The investigation did indicate that there was in my view mistreatment of the inmate.”
Shrader said the entire affair was revealed by a jail deputy who believed what was occurring was inappropriate.
In a jailhouse interview with CBS4, McDaniel said “some of the deputies have treated me with disrespect, others with more kindness. They were just on me constantly saying that I needed discipline. Part of it was my fault because like I said, I can’t stand cops.”
The other deputies who stepped down following the investigation were Matthew Mount, who was a training officer for newer deputies, Nilesh Gurne Mannina and Robert O’Hair.
Mannina declined to comment on his resignation. Mount did not respond to electronic messages, and CBS4 was unable to reach O’Hair.
However in a story on the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Facebook page posted last year, O’Hair was quoted as saying, “Rather than serving my community at the national scale, I’m doing it on the local scale. Everyone I work with here truly loves this job and honestly just wants to give back and help people. I think as every parent knows, it’s not always about snuggles and kisses. Sometimes it’s about discipline.”
The latest Jefferson County Jail problem follows the 2015 death of Jennifer Lobato, who was in the jail on shoplifting charges. Six deputies were reprimanded for the way they handled the Lobato case as she and other inmates pleaded for medical help for Lobato in the hours preceding her death.
Last year, jail authorities acknowledged they mistakenly released five inmates too early.
In February of this year, CBS4 reported how the jail mistakenly released an inmate named Ron Chavez who was not due to be released. It turned out there was a second Ron Chavez in the jail who was supposed to be released. In setting the wrong Ron Chavez free, jail administrators apparently bypassed a number of safeguards in place to prevent such an occurrence.
And earlier this week, a Jeffco jail inmate jumped off a tier and injured himself in what Shrader characterized as a suicide attempt.
Asked by CBS4 if inmates are safe at his jail, Shrader responded, “Inmates are safe in this jail.”
He said jail staff is professional and they will learn from the McDaniel case.