By BOB PALMER
Marion County Sheriff David McKnight rejected charges of unhealthy conditions in the county jail made by five prisoners in a lawsuit filed last week in district court.
“We categorically deny each and every allegation mentioned,” McKnight said. “This matter has been turned over to our attorneys, Flowers & Davis, from Tyler.”
The hand-written petition filed by Derrick L. Hunt, Jeffrey W. Harper, Reynaldo Compos Jr., William C. Loftin and Preston J. Thompson claimed “pain, suffering and mental anguish.”
The plaintiffs seek $12 million in damages. They have also filed a law suit against the City of Jefferson.
The five inmates assert the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division failed “to assess, remediate and perform an abatement of a Black Mold infestation contamination of the Marion County Jail.”
Plaintiffs claim Sheriff McKnight was made aware of the Black Mold situation two years ago. They also state their medical condition has worsened due to exposure to Black Mold.
McKnight pointed out the jail recently passed a state jail inspection.
A letter to one of the plaintiffs, Harper, from Program Specialist Anthony Mikesh reports that his office had reviewed the Black Mold claims and , “it was determined no violation of standards has occurred.”
Following a Texas Freedom of Information Request by the Jefferson Jimplecute, Sheriff McKnight released the list of charges pending against each of the plaintiffs.
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