A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office jail sergeant responsible for making public the pepper-spraying of a restrained inmate in the county jail in 2015 was fired Thursday, the Dayton Daily News has confirmed.
Sgt. Ransley Creech’s termination follows an internal affairs investigation into how video of then Sgt. Judith Sealey’s pepper-spraying incident of inmate Amber Swink got into the hands of a local attorney.
The video spurred a lawsuit, an ongoing federal probe, a misdemeanor criminal charge against Sealey, and contributing to calls for reviewed oversight of jail operations.
The Dayton Daily News on Jan. 11 requested the results of the internal affairs investigation under Ohio public records law. Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. on Jan. 26 denied the request saying the internal investigation is now part of an open criminal investigation.
Contacted for comment, Creech said he has not broken any laws.
“I got fired for doing exactly what I was sworn to do,” Creech told this news organization. “Protect victims, report a crime and preserve evidence, just as I stated in my internal review.”
SPECIAL PROJECT: Justice in the Jailhouse
Fellow former sheriff’s office sergeant Eric Banks told the Dayton Daily News in December that he and Creech called the FBI and turned video of the pepper-spraying over to a local attorney because they feared the sheriff’s office was trying to cover-up the incident.
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer was contacted for comment. This story will be updated once that information is received.
A grand jury declined to indict Sealey for a felony, but she is being prosecuted for assault in Dayton Municipal Court. Sealey, now a captain, retired with a medical disability, according to sheriff’s office records obtained via open records laws.
The county settled a lawsuit brought by Swink for $375,000, according to county records. Three other jail lawsuits have been settled, putting the total cost to the county at more than $1.2 million. The county recently won a lawsuit in Dayton’s U.S. District Court brought by another former inmate. Several other suits against the jail are pending.