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Former Cuyahoga Jail Director Ken Mills sentenced to 9 months in jail

photo of Ken Mills
Taylor Haggerty
Ideastream Public Media
Ken Mills sits in Judge Emily Hagan's courtroom during his sentencing hearing Friday.

Ken Mills will spend nine months in the jail he once oversaw. Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced the former Cuyahoga County jail director to six months for falsification and 90 days for dereliction of duty. 

He must serve the terms consecutively, not concurrently, Hagan said.

Mills was found guilty of four charges last month, including two charges of falsification and two charges of dereliction of duty. The jury found Mills not guilty of tampering with records, the one felony charge he faced.

The Ohio Attorney General's office, which prosecuted the case, called for the nine month sentence to reflect the harm inflicted at the county jail and serve as a deterrent for other public officials.

Not going to bring back the people who died in his jail—but at least he’s going to get some first hand experience on the other side of the bars.

Each of us—rich or poor, wise or foolish—has equal worth and dignity. Even in jail. — Attorney General Dave Yost (@Yost4Ohio) October 8, 2021

The trial focused on who should be held responsible for inhumane conditions at the Cuyahoga County jail, particularly overcrowding and a lack of medical care. During the years in question, eight people died in the facility.

The dereliction charges - both misdemeanors — stem from Mills’ time as Director of Regional Corrections for Cuyahoga County. Mills oversaw the three jails run by the county in Downtown Cleveland, Bedford Heights and Euclid.

The falsification charges come from statements Mills provided during a Cuyahoga County Council meeting in 2018. Mills told council in that meeting he had no authority over hiring nurses for the jails. But testimony and evidence during the trial demonstrated Mills blocking a request for two nurses at the Euclid jail.
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