Donini conducts internal affairs investigation

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini says there is no evidence to support a charge by a former inmate in the Scioto County Jail that he was physically abused.

Zachery Allen Shaffer 0f Carey’s Run Pond Creek Road, West Portsmouth, contacted the Daily Times, and claimed he was abused by a member of the jail staff in November. The Times contacted Donini, who then conducted an internal affairs investigation. He then sent a copy of the investigation findings to Shaffer, and a copy of that letter was also emailed to the newspaper. In essence, the findings were that no misconduct by a member of his staff took place.

Shaffer had told the Times – “Where I was incarcerated, I was in a dorm and I had a couple of seizures. When I came out of it there were two officers were hovering over me. I don’t know if you’ve ever been around somebody with a seizure, but they come out of it in a kind of a defensive mode. They’re scared. I got calmed down and they walked me to the nurse’s station, where the sergeant was at. The sergeant’s reply to me was – ‘what are you coming down off of tweaker?’ And I stood up, put my hands in the air and asked to be taken back to my dorm. And he (sergeant) came over and grabbed my arm, twisted my arm up, pulled me out into the hallway a little bit, and then started twisting my wrist up pretty bad. The other CO (Correction Officer) had my other hand and I was not fighting. I wasn’t irate or anything like that. They took me back into the nurse’s station and sat me down in a chair. And then the sergeant grabbed a hold of my head with both hands and shoved it into the concrete wall.”

Shaffer suffered brain trauma last year in a four-wheeler accident. He said it was the same side of his head he alleges was shoved into the wall.

“Now I’m having seizures again from where I went from having maybe one seizure every four or five months, to now I’m having at least two a week,” Shaffer said.

In his letter to Shaffer, Donini said – “Please be advised that the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office has recently completed an internal affairs investigation where you alleged that on November 13, 2016 a sergeant employed by the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office assigned to duties within the Scioto County Jail used ‘excessive’ use of force and caused and/or attempted to cause physical harm to you while incarcerated within the facility by grabbing you and intentionally forcing your head to strike the concrete wall within the facility.”

Donini went on to say – “Your allegations have been thoroughly investigated and the findings have revealed that the allegations of misconduct were unsubstantiated as the result of a lack of evidence to corroborate your allegations. The evidence clearly indicates that the use of force was ‘objectively reasonable’ and the officer’s actions were reasonable in light of the facts and circumstances confronting him.”

Shaffer, who says he has had medical issues since the alleged event, said he has been attempting to contact Donini for several days to no avail.

“They’re not returning none of our phone calls or anything,” Shaffer said. “It goes to voice mail. We’ve left numerous messages for them to contact us back and they have not done that.”

The Times did not substantiate the phone call accusations.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.