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Harris County Approves Settlement For Abused Inmate Case

Harris County Commissioners Court today approved a $400,000 settlement with an inmate who was left inside an infested jail cell.

 

Harris County Commissioners Court today approved a $400,000 settlement with an inmate who was left inside an infested jail cell.

Terry Goodwin was found by inspectors living in deplorable conditions in the fall of 2013. They said he was left in his cell for weeks, that was piled with heaps of trash, bugs and his own waste.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and commissioners agreed to the settlement after meeting in executive session.

“Four hundred thousand dollars, is that the right amount? The two sides agreed to it. Seems to be a reasonable amount. But the main thing is to make sure that this kind of thing never happens again,” said Emmett.

Two Harris County detention officers were fired and charged with felonies in connection with the case. Four other Harris County employees were terminated and several others were suspended without pay.

New Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman released a statement.

“Breakdowns in leadership in the previous administration led to an atmosphere of non-confrontational deference. From the top down, failures to accept a leadership responsibility resulted in the appalling and unacceptable treatment of Mr. Goodwin.”

The case was brought to light by whistleblowers who had taken photos from inside the jail cell. The FBI and Justice Department are conducting their own investigations.

 

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