Members of Brown Co. Sheriff's Office file federal lawsuit again - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Members of Brown Co. Sheriff's Office file federal lawsuit against coroner regarding inmate death

Zachary Goldson Zachary Goldson
BROWN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) -

Five members of the Brown County Sheriff's Office have filed a federal lawsuit against the Brown County coroner, her husband and Brown County Commissioners in connection with the death of an inmate. 

Zachary Goldson, 24, died inside the Brown County jail in October of 2013. Brown County deputies claimed Goldson hanged himself in his jail cell but Brown County Coroner Judith Varnau ruled the death a homicide. 

[RELATED: Grand jury begins hearing evidence in death of Brown County inmate]

The lawsuit alleges that the Varnau's made malicious efforts to cast the death as a homicide. It also alleges that the Varnau's sent the full coroner's report including surveillance video, phone calls and autopsy and scene photos to newspaper and television stations, including FOX19 NOW. 

The lawsuit reads, in part:

This case embodies years of repeated and continuous lies and defamatory remarks lobbed by the Brown County Coroner's Office, specifically Judith and Dennis Varnau, against members of the Brown County Sheriff's Officer. Defendants Varnau have taken extraordinary steps to criminally investigate the death of Zachary Goldson, a former inmate who committed suicide while incarcerated in the Brown County Jail....The Varnaus' defamatory remarks have not only ruined the good reputation Plaintiffs had previously earned, but have compromised the investigative efforts of the Ohio BCI and the ongoing grand jury deliberations related thereto. 

The suit also claims the Varnau's have compromised ongoing grand jury deliberations. It asks the court to amend the coroner's findings and the rehabilitate the reputation of the officers involved. 

The feud between the coroner and the sheriff's department has been going on for months, making it hard to determine exactly what happened. A separate federal lawsuit was filed against the coroner earlier this year in an attempt to remove Varnau from office.

The coroner's attorney says he's aware of the lawsuit and that it will be looked into, investigated and defended. The Ohio Attorney General's Office said they cannot comment while the investigation is still ongoing.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • Hundreds of children wait in Border Patrol facility in Texas

    Hundreds of children wait in Border Patrol facility in Texas

    Monday, June 18 2018 9:00 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:00:17 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 9:53 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:53:02 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...
    Hundreds of unaccompanied child immigrants arrested at the U.S. border are being held in metal cages at a family detention facility in McAllen, Texas.Full Story >
    Hundreds of unaccompanied child immigrants arrested at the U.S. border are being held in metal cages at a family detention facility in McAllen, Texas.Full Story >
  • Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 3, knocks over walls

    Strong quake near Osaka, Japan, kills 3, knocks over walls

    Sunday, June 17 2018 9:29 PM EDT2018-06-18 01:29:52 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 9:51 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:51:22 GMT
    (Takaki Yajima/Kyodo News via AP). School children take shelter at schoolyard in Ikeda, Osaka, following an earthquake Monday, June 18, 2018.  A strong earthquake has shaken the city of Osaka in western Japan. There are reports of scattered damage incl...(Takaki Yajima/Kyodo News via AP). School children take shelter at schoolyard in Ikeda, Osaka, following an earthquake Monday, June 18, 2018. A strong earthquake has shaken the city of Osaka in western Japan. There are reports of scattered damage incl...

    A strong earthquake shook the city of Osaka in western Japan, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses.

    Full Story >

    A strong earthquake shook the city of Osaka in western Japan, causing scattered damage including broken glass and partial building collapses.

    Full Story >
  • Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

    Family separation policy starts dividing Republicans

    Monday, June 18 2018 4:20 AM EDT2018-06-18 08:20:01 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 9:51 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:51:01 GMT
    (Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP). U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration policy and law enforcement actions at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton, Pa., on Friday, June 15, 2018.(Butch Comegys/The Times-Tribune via AP). U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration policy and law enforcement actions at Lackawanna College in downtown Scranton, Pa., on Friday, June 15, 2018.

    Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

    Full Story >

    Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly