The Cuyahoga County Jail.
So much has changed in nearly every facet of life in the past month that it's hard to find solid mooring no matter how hard we look. There are, these days, so very few things in whose consistency and reliability we can take solace amid the otherwise suffocating influx of hellish news.
It'd be nice if one of those constants wasn't the generally awful operation of the Cuyahoga County jail, but here we are.
The jail's warden, Gregory Croucher, resigned this week.
He had been on the job all of eight months.
He had recently been the subject of three internal investigations. One alleged that he had an on-duty jail officer drive him to the airport. A second alleged that he used excessive force on a female inmate. A third alleged that he retaliated against officers who voiced complaints about Croucher's management.
In a report finalized Tuesday (see PDF below), the county's Inspector General found that Croucher did have a subordinate employee ferry him to Hopkins while on duty. While the IG didn't find sufficient evidence of the use-of-force allegation, it is waiting on a report from the U.S. Marshals, whose custody the female inmate was under and who might have more information. Oh, and the IG found that Croucher retaliated against his employees, because this is the Cuyahoga County jail and of course he did.
Croucher submitted his resignation yesterday, the day after the report from the IG's office.
Is that all?
Of course not.
Gregory Croucher recently went on vacation to Costa Rica. He left on March 12, according to a county spokesperson. That was two days after Gov. Mike DeWine had one of his first press conferences with announcements that the state had positive COVID-19 cases and that Ohio was asking colleges and sports leagues to cancel classes and games. While there were no orders yet, DeWine was quite clear this was a growing problem.
"Every act each one of us takes now has very significant consequences. Each decision not only impacts us, not just our families, but people we don't even know. We're at a critical time," DeWine said.
Croucher then went to Costa Rica.
He returned on March 25, to a whole different world where precautions are taken, and was told to self isolate but went into the jail anyway.
Do better next time, Cuyahoga County.
See related PDF