CLEVELAND — In a letter dated May 24, Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney informed County Executive Armond Budish and Council President Dan Brady that his resignation would take effect August 2. Pinkney specifically thanked a number of local officials, including:
- Prosecutor Mike O'Malley
- Judge John Russo
- Judge Michelle Earley
- Executive director Robert Cornwell of the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association
- An alphabet soup of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies
Pinkney said he is leaving the job to spend time with family and "pursue new opportunities that have presented themselves." He did not specify what those opportunities are. As for his legacy, he pointed out that it was his mission to modernize the sheriff's office.
His letter, which you can read here, ended with a list of 49 accomplishments, including 19 related to the county's embattled jail. Among those accomplishments: entering into a contract with MetroHealth to provide correctional medicine and all medical needs for inmates.
The former interim director of ambulatory care at the Cuyahoga County Jail has filed a lawsuit alleging that county officials conspired to fire him in retaliation for speaking out against poor conditions at the facility.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff, Gary Brack, says he was wrongfully terminated last year after responding to questions at a county council meeting where he highlighted problems at the jail — issues that would be brought to light months later when a report by the U.S. Marshals service would expose a myriad of problems up to and including the death of multiple inmates. The lawsuit alleges that Cuyahoga County Executive Budish; former director of Cuyahoga County Corrections Ken Mills; MetroHealth; Cuyahoga County and others violated Brack’s civil rights and free speech.