FOX19 Exclusive: Wrongdoing at a Kentucky jail?

By Sara Celi – bio | email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Former Campbell County Detention Center Sergeant Ben Wood sat down with FOX19 exclusively to discuss what he says when on regularly at his former place of employment.

"When the medical staff arrived at our facility, when they first came there, they started taking people off their medications. That was causing a lot of inmate hallucinating, a lot of inmates complaining about it," says Wood.

Wood tells FOX19 he knows he's making stunning, serious accusations about his former place of employment. Wood says he worked at the Campbell County Jail for eight years until leaving in January 2009.

"The reason why they were taking people off their medications was because the medical staff would receive a bonus check. They would get more money. The more money they saved, the more money that the medical people would get," says Wood.

Wood wrote out this and more in a sworn affidavit that's part of a larger lawsuit filed by attorney Eric Deters. Deters filed the suit this year on behalf of two inmates Deters says were given improper medical care. Southern Health Partners provides medical care to all Campbell County jail inmates.

"Some of them thought it was funny you know, that the inmates were being taken off of it. I don't find it funny. It's very serious," says Wood.

Wood says the medical staff's bonuses came from southern health partners directly. He calls it open secret among the staff at the jail.

When asked why he came forward, Wood said, "It needs to be known. It doesn't need to be hidden, like it has been, for years."

Wood says he waited until he left the jail to make the accusations because he job would have been on the line.

But as damaging as the affidavit may be, the jail has an accusation of it's own. It's about Ben Wood, and why he left his job.

"Mr. Wood is a disgruntled, former employee of the detention center who resigned under threat of termination," says Jeff Mando, the private attorney who represents the jail in all litigation. Jeff Mando told FOX19 most of Ben Wood's allegations are baseless.

"The events that he attempts to describe are the subject of pending civil suits which the jail intends to vigorously defend in a court of law. Contrary to Mr. Wood's allegations, the staff at the jail are committed to providing the inmates at the jail a safe and secure facility," says Mando.

Southern Health Partners says something similar about Wood's allegations. The Chattanooga based company gave FOX19 this written statement:

"The affidavit from Mr. Wood relates to a lawsuit brought against Southern Health Partners by Eric Deters, the lawyer who provided the affidavit to FOX19. SHP does not comment on matters in active litigations. We look forward to addressing Mr. Wood's assertions in the proper forum. We continue to stand behind the quality of the services we provide to our county clients, including Campbell County, but will not assist Mr. Deters in his transparent attempt to try this case in the media, instead of a court of law."

Ben Wood says regardless, he still wanted to come forward about what he says happened at the jail.

"If you treat someone with respect, you get respect handed right back to you. You shouldn't be treated like you are nobody. You are still a human being." says Wood.

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