GARFIELD CO., Okla. (KFOR) - Garfield County Commissioners announce a $12.5 million dollar settlement following the death of an inmate who was allegedly bound to a chair for more than two days.
“The federal civil lawsuit filed on behalf of our client Anthony Huff has been resolved in an amicable fashion,” Huff’s attorney Eddie Wyant said.
The Garfield County Board of Commissioners is preparing to front a $12.5 million dollar bill after 58-year-old Anthony Huff was found unresponsive and strapped to a restraint chair inside the Garfield County Jail.
“It acknowledges the severity of this horrific death and justice and closure for this family,” Wyant said.
On June 4, 2016, Huff was arrested and booked on a public intoxication charge.
Four days later he was dead.
Court documents reveal Huff was “placed in a restraint chair for 55 hours” after experiencing “hallucinations.”
Huff allegedly wasn’t allowed food, water, breaks, or prescriptions.
Huff’s autopsy report confirms the inmate died of “chronic alcoholism” due to a prior disease.
Six jail employees on duty were eventually slapped with manslaughter charges. One of them being Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles himself.
The charges against Niles were dropped. He did turn in his resignation letter in August of this year.
“We do appreciate the board resolving this matter in a way that protects Garfield County from a much larger verdict,” Wyant said.
Garfield County released this full statement to News 4:
“Garfield County’s settlement of the federal lawsuit filed by Mr. Huff’s family reflects a monetary award that is reasonable under the circumstances of the case. Garfield County has always considered proper operation of the Detention Center to be a high priority, and will continue to maintain high standards at the Detention Center. The health and safety of individuals who are being detained in the Detention Center is of paramount concern.
The operation of any detention facility is a complex undertaking, but the County is committed to improving the security and safety of the Detention Center. As one step toward improving Detention Center conditions and policies, a new Jail Administrator will soon be hired. It is hoped that the hiring of the new Jail Administrator and the making of important changes in the policies and operation of the Detention Center will serve to promote the well-being of detainees.”