Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 15, 2013

Records reveal depth of jail investigation

By AMANDA LOVIZA VICKERY
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Eighteen people. Twenty recorded interviews. One thousand, three minutes and 19 seconds of conversation. Thirteen sets of written notes. Seven current employees. Nine former employees, four of them fired. Two plaintiffs in lawsuits. Three months. Eleven days of work. Five alleged problem areas. One Barren County Detention Center and $3,500 of taxpayers’ money.

Copies of a flashdrive containing private investigator Michael J. Ober’s records of his examination of the Barren County Detention Center were released Friday, Feb. 8, almost exactly nine months after an open records request for the documents was filed by the Glasgow Daily Times. Judge-Executive Davie Greer and all seven Barren County Fiscal Court magistrates had copies made available to them. The five entities who filed open records requests for the information also received copies, including the Daily Times, Commonwealth Broadcasting, Royse Radio, Jobe Publishing and Barren County Jailer Matt Mutter. The flashdrive included 22 segments of audio recordings that documented 20 interviews, 13 documents of notes, a large number of court documents related to the nine-month legal battle between the Daily Times and the fiscal court over the records, jail policy and employee information, Ober’s contract with the fiscal court, a letter Ober sent to jail employees, the summary Ober provided the fiscal court on May 1, 2012, and a document that listed questions Ober asked interviewees.

Before he began interviews, Ober wrote a list of five topics about which to question those whom he interviewed. Those question areas included physical abuse or misconduct with regard to three specific inmates, medical plan, qualification and training, proper documentation, fraud or misappropriation of funds and sexual misconduct. Ober told interviewees that his areas of concern were topics that are “specific to jails, because jails have their own problems,” according to the records.

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times Weekender.