Breaking News: Inmate Dead For 8 Hours in Cell - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ.Com Exclusive: Inmate Dead For 8 Hours in Cell; Spokane Deputy Fired For Not Checking

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane County Corrections Deputy is fighting to get his job back after Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich fired him for not doing his job.
 
Deputy Kenneth Downey was fired March 10th of this year for not doing his rounds and for lying about during the investigation. The incident began when an inmate died in his cell from "a ruptured aneurysm of the aorta", but because Corrections Deputies weren't doing their scheduled and required 30 minute rounds, the inmate lay dead in his cell for 8 hours. 
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the log books initially indicated deputies were doing their rounds, but then when the security footage of that day was reviewed, it showed none of them had their 30 minute rounds in that section of the jail. The security footage was then used as evidence that the log books saying the rounds were done...were faked.
 
Deputy Downey was fired for not doing his rounds, for faking the log books, and for lying during the investigation. The union representing Deputy Downey says the Sheriff jumped the gun by firing Downey saying that he should have followed Progressive Discipline by issuing written or verbal warnings, and that termination was too severe a punishment.
 
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told KHQ Reporter Bill McGinty, "when we wear a badge, we don't get to lie."
 
*This web story was filed by Bill McGinty
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