The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has called in outside investigators to look into the conduct of deputies after a drunk man was left alone in the jail lobby for more than two hours.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office will handle the investigation, Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said.
“We want to be transparent and we’ll make sure of that,” Kelly said.
The Greene County investigator assigned to the job has no ties or acquaintances from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
The results of the investigation will be handed over to prosecutors to determine if any deputies in the jail could face criminal charges, Kelly said, which could include dereliction of duty.
Any deputy working in the jail who knew of the situation in the lobby will be interviewed, Kelly said, including multiple sergeants who were assigned to be in charge that night.
As many as 17 deputies can be assigned to a shift in the jail, sheriff’s office human resources personnel said.
Ex-Deputy Christopher Dent entered the Clark County Jail lobby, 120 N. Fountain Ave., about 10 p.m. May 13.
He appeared highly intoxicated, deputies wrote in an arrest report.
At times Dent fell to the floor, slept on the ground and urinated in a corner. A cell phone video taken by a bystander shows the incident.
“The video has gone viral,” Kelly said.
The video also shows a group of deputies in the jail watching but they don’t take immediate action to intervene.
Footage from security cameras in the lobby shows deputies leaving their shift and walking directly past Dent.
“That is not how members of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office treat the people of our community that we have sworn to serve and protect,” Kelly said.
Dent was in the lobby for more than two hours before a deputy came out to assist and subsequently arrest him for disorderly conduct and public indecency. He pleaded no contest and was convicted of the charges.
Dent is a former Clark County deputy who was terminated for multiple reasons, Kelly has previously said, including insubordination, having firearms while intoxicated and showing up to court intoxicated.
He was arrested by the Springfield Police Division in July 2012 and charged with weapons while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor. He was sentenced to serve six months in jail in that case, according to court records.
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