County must appoint jail oversight committee
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The NYCLU represented inmates Joseph Marone and Paul Nantista in the lawsuit. According to McCormack, Marone alleged that he had been injured in an accident involving his cell’s mechanical door, and that he also developed a serious ear infection, but the injuries were not properly treated and his ear was never examined by a doctor.
Nantista alleged that a broken right toe he suffered at the jail was never property treated, and that he remains “in constant pain.”
The court ruling lists other allegations against the jail, including one in 1999, when the U.S. Department of Justice said that conditions at the facility were so bad that they were considered “constitutional violations.” The department filed a formal complaint in 2002 in U.S. District Court, citing the NCCC’s excessive use of force against inmates and its failure to train and supervise correctional staff to prevent the use of excessive force. The complaint also alleged that the NCCC was “deliberately indifferent to the inmates’ serious medical needs.”
Elizabeth Loconsolo, a spokeswoman for the Correctional Center, said she was unable to comment on the allegations because of the ongoing litigation. But she said that the Supreme Court’s ruling remains under review for possible appeal.
Loconsolo added that the Department of Justice had withdrawn part of its complaint against the jail in 2005 because of a settlement, and the remainder of the complaint in 2008. “So I don’t know how that’s even an issue,” she said.
She also said that the jail has not received any complaints from the Justice Department since 2008.
Brian Nevin, a spokesman for Mangano, said that the county executive had recommended four members for the oversight committee several months before the court ruling, and that those members would have constituted a quorum.
McCormack wrote, however, that “there is no evidence that the names were ever approved” by the County Legislature. Additionally, the ruling stated that the legislation passed in 1990 requires the oversight committee to comprise seven members, and that a four-member quorum would not be permissible.