Kenton Co., jailer deny blame in inmate's death

Wednesday, December 2, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON -- A $1 million lawsuit over the death of a diabetic inmate at the Kenton County Jail may be turning into a debate over who's responsible for the jail.

County officials control the jail's budget, but deny that they are policy makers for the facility. Jailer Don Younger responded the same way. He, too, says he doesn't have the responsibility to make jail policy.

Their denials came in written responses to the federal lawsuit filed over the June death of James Franklin Jr. They are being sued by Mr. Franklin's children, who claim their father was left to die without proper care. He died in a basement cell, naked and lying next to some partially eaten food.

To Scott Greenwood, one of the attorneys representing Mr. Franklin's family, it doesn't really matter which officials are the policy makers. He sued them all anyway.

"If you believe both of their responses, nobody has the legal responsibility for that jail," he said. "That is ridiculous."

Mr. Younger, in his response, says his actions regarding the 68-year-old Covington man's death were reasonable, proper, justified and legal and that he acted in good faith and without intent to harm.

He does admit that he, as well as nurse Pam Sams and others, had the authority to transfer Mr. Franklin somewhere else for medical care. Ms. Sams, in her response, denies that she did. She has said that she tried to get Mr. Franklin transferred but that no one would listen to her.

Mr. Younger also said any damages caused to Mr. Franklin were caused by unforsee-able things for which he bears no responsibility.

Local Headlines For Wednesday, December 2, 1998

Special Coverage: CLINTON UNDER FIRE
1 dead in 3-truck crash on I-275
Cable rates going up for Time Warner subscribers
Christmas? Hanukkah? Both?
Day off to cheer on football team brings some boos
DUI suspect faces new charges
Flynts lose first round
Glenn admits nausea during re-entry
Kenton Co., jailer deny blame in inmate's death
KKK cross dumped in trash bin
Lucas takes oath before campaign supporters
McConnell retains GOP post
No holiday for compulsive buyers
Ohio Senate supports teaching abstinence
Ohio's outlook on Y2K: not OK
Parkinson's ignores age
Promise Keepers didn't keep promises
Residents want ripped-off funds recouped
Reviewer thought courthouse bids in public record
Transport hub for riverfront wins state aid
Two boys, a boxcar and beer
Warm and wonderful