Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe “Vindicated”

Posted by on Thu, Jul 24, 2008 at 5:21 AM

click to enlarge behind-the-bars.2355321.51.jpg
We don’t get The Lebanon Democrat here at our downtown office, so it was up to an alert reader to send us this story from last month about Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe. In this story about Ashe last March, we detailed the house of horrors that is -- or at least was -- the Wilson County Jail. Now it seems that Ashe has settled with the feds, who investigated his jail and found conditions there wanting. The settlement requires that a designated “health authority” oversee medical procedures at the jail and that the jail hire a licensed mental health provider. The feds also required that the county assure “adequate safety” and staffing levels at the jail. "I'm excited. I'm a little giddy,” Ashe said after the county commission OK’d the settlement. “I feel vindicated.” The Democrat story references our piece thusly:
The CRIPA report earned Ashe and his department attention outside of Wilson County, including a profile in a Nashville-based free distribution weekly that accused him of "passing the buck" on the jail report.
Passing the buck was the least of what we accused him of. During Ashe’s tenure as sheriff, jail staff were accused of beating and macing non-violent inmates for sport. Another inmate expired from a drug overdose at the feet of the jail’s nurse because she thought the inmate was faking it. She later told investigators that “she lacks knowledge of the symptoms of drug-induced distress because she doesn’t have any friends or family members with those types of problems.” In The Democrat story, Ashe passes the buck once more, blaming past commissions for under-funding his jail.
“It's what I was up here telling the commission in '98, '99, 2000, 2001. But we started moving forward with this commission two years ago. This settlement says when the sheriff or the county mayor or the county attorney comes over here, you need to fund it.”

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