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Jailers won’t face additional charges

Hanshaw, Hatfield back on county payroll

The corrections officers who were defendants in a federal trial last week will not face state charges over an incident involving the alleged abuse of an inmate at the Lawrence County Jail in August 2014.

Ronald Hatfield, Jeremy Hanshaw and Jason Mays were found not guilty in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio in Cincinnati on Friday following an almost two-week trial. The three men had faced federal charges that they had conspired against the rights and deprived the rights of the inmate under color of the law.

“It is not my intention to try them,” Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said on Monday. “They have had a jury find that the use of force wasn’t excessive.”

Following an investigation by the sheriff’s office the men were arrested in 2014. Hanshaw and Hatfield were charged with felonious assault; Mays was charged with tampering with evidence.

Soon after that a federal grand jury indicted the trio.

At the time of their arrest Hanshaw and Hatfield were put on paid administrative leave as they were members of the union until their vacation and sick days were expended. Then they went on unpaid leave. Mays, who had not been at the sheriff’s office long enough to be in the union, was fired.

On Monday Hanshaw and Hatfield were put back on paid administrative leave where they are now on the payroll but not on active duty with the sheriff’s office. They are making $15.30 an hour for a 40-hour week.

They will stay on leave until there is a hearing concerning alleged violations of policies and procedures.

“They are facing an internal investigation of violations,” Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said. “An employer will decide what level of discipline. The union can fight that and it can go all the way to arbitration.”

Discipline could range from suspension to termination.

Mays will not return to the department.

“I have no intention of hiring back Mays,” Lawless said.