Grand Traverse County Investigates Self and Finds No Wrongdoing

The Grand Traverse County Administrator and former second-to-top-cop Nathan Alger completed his investigation of a jail complaint. The complaint reported that an inmate was left without her medication to the point that they needed serious medical attention.

And wouldn’t you know, Alger concluded that the county didn’t do anything wrong. Of course he did.

So here’s what I don’t get. There are significant factual discrepancies between the person making the complaint and the county’s version of it.  The complainant says that he dropped off the woman’s medication. The county says he didn’t do that.

Uhm, receipts? How is a person not given a receipt when they drop off medication at the jail? You would think that would be a standard operating procedure to record who dropped it off, what they dropped off, who it was for, and in what amounts. It not only protects the person in jail from the “we never got them” defense, but it’s also evidence in case the person dropping off the meds tries to pass contraband or invalid prescriptions. That would protect the county from the “no I didn’t” defense just as much as it helps the inmate.

And second, copying over the jail cameras so they couldn’t look at video? Really? Over what time frame? Come on… Legislators on any level could fix that problem by passing a law that videos are to be kept for a certain time frame, say 60 days, and kept indefinitely if there is any sort of known complaint, incident, event, issue, or question about what might have happened. I would say a policy would be enough, but they’re just going to “oops” not follow the policy. If you put in the law that there’s a presumption of gross negligence if the county fails to follow the procedure, things would get cleared up pretty quickly.

The thing with this complaint. The county can shout it down and say that’s not what happened, but there’s strength in numbers. There are so many people who have stories about what they’ve been through at the jail, it’s just not believable that they’re all dishonest or have an inaccurate recollection.

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3 thoughts on “Grand Traverse County Investigates Self and Finds No Wrongdoing”

  1. I wonder if they fully investigated themselves when a couple (now “allowed to retire”) turnkeys were caught with their hands in the till of the inmates fund, to the tune of $16,000? Bet they found a policy or two in discrepancy there too!

  2. They most certainly don’t seem to log medication. And there’s no record of where the medication went when the inmate doesn’t get it and it doesn’t go back into his/her property, either. I guess someone in the jail walked home with ours.

  3. Officials who “self-investigate” tend to find no wrong-doing, because they don’t want to admit responsibility and open themselves (or the county they work for) up to a lawsuit. The real sham is that the county administrator who was formerly the under-sheriff didn’t recuse himself and an outside (and i mean, well-outside the 5-county area) investigator wasn’t sought after. That would have brought credibility and the “appearance” that an unbiased investigation was taking place.

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