Sheriff: Commissioners “totally out of line”

DAYTON, OH (WDTN) – Sheriff Phil Plummer Wednesday responded to allegations of civil rights violations at the Montgomery County jail, and the request for a Department of Justice investigation.

He described the request by county commissioners Tuesday as something done in an “aggressive, politically charged manner.” He later said, “I absolutely believe this was politically motivated.”

You can watch the full press conference below.

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Tuesday, commissioners sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting an investigation into alleged civil rights violations at the Montgomery Jail.

Board President Dan Foley, along with Commissioners Judy Dodge and Debbie Lieberman, held a news conference Tuesday where Foley said the Board is concerned about the seven pending civil cases involving civil rights violations and claims of misconduct at the jail.

Plummer said he oversees 450 officers and said accusations are “immediately investigated and properly handled.” Plummer noted that the 7 lawsuits are pending. Plummer said accusing his officers “without due process is totally out of line.”

When it comes to running the jail, he said, “I do not take that responsibility lightly.” Plummer cited staffing and funding issues at the jail. “I’ve devoted my life to this community. To be treated like this is uncalled for and I will not stand for it.”

An attorney for a woman claiming excessive force speaks to 2 News

Foley said the Board met with Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer Tuesday morning and offered to work together to come up with a plan to address these issues, but according to Foley, Sheriff Plummer “declined that path.”

Plummer said he started a civilian jail review committee that he described as “a work in progress.” He criticized commissioners for each only touring the jail once in his eight years on the job and never attending a budget meeting, where he talked about the challenges and need for more resources. He stated that $20 million of his $30 million budget is devoted to the jail.

Plummer has been sheriff of Montgomery County since 2008. His career at the sheriff’s office began in 1998. He is also the chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party.

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