Former Montgomery County sheriff may join examination of mistreatment claims at jail

A committee looking to stem the tide of inmate complaints and civil rights lawsuits brought against the Montgomery County Jail has submitted the names of two men with decades of law enforcement experience — including a former sheriff once in command of the jail — to fill a vacancy on the group.

In coming weeks, Montgomery County commissioners will name either former Sheriff Dave Vore or Vandalia Division of Police Lt. Kurt Althouse to the vacancy created when Tony Rankin, a retired Montgomery Sheriff’s Office chief deputy, stepped down for health reasons. The committee voted last month to forward the two names.

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Vore retired after eight years as Montgomery County sheriff in 2008 and is now a security consultant. He is a Clay Twp. trustee, winning re-election in November.

Althouse, currently an administrative lieutenant, worked in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office from 1992-2014, including a year as a Jail Division sergeant, according to his resume provided to the committee.

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The committee will soon examine proposals from five firms to conduct an operations study to help guide eventual recommendations for changes at the jail, the focus of a number of lawsuits by former inmates claiming mistreatment already costing the county more than $1 million.

RELATED: County spending on jail lawsuits tops $1M

The committee was formed in March as calls for a federal civil rights investigation into jail operations grew louder. Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer is a non-voting member of the 10-member committee.

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