The sheriff's department has started second-party checks to ensure that no more inmates are released in errors.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Mahoning County Sheriff's Department has given Sgt. Lewis Bonace a three-day suspension for releasing an inmate who should have stayed in jail.
Bonace will be off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday without pay, said Maj. Michael Budd.
"We're holding him solely responsible and he concurs," Budd said. "He made a mistake by failing to properly translate the journal entry he received from the court and erroneously released the inmate."
Bonace's daughter, Deputy Sherri Bonace, received the same punishment last month when she and 10 others were held responsible for releasing an inmate who should have stayed in jail.
The most recent release happened Tuesday afternoon when Paul A. Nadal, 25, of West Judson Avenue appeared in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for a hearing on a domestic violence charge. Nadal, already on probation to the Adult Parole Authority on a weapons conviction, reached a plea agreement.
What happened: The new charge was dismissed and Nadal stipulated that he had violated his parole, Budd said. Judge Robert G. Lisotto set sentencing for June 14.
Bonace, instead of keeping Nadal in jail pending the sentencing, let him go.
Budd said the sheriff's department has started second-party checks to ensure that inmates are not released in error.
"We're in the process of conducting an audit of every inmate's case file -- 500 jackets," Budd said. "We'll cull information from every court and probation department."
Six weeks ago, Sheriff Randall A. Wellington blamed 11 deputies for letting Brian Lamar James free when he should have been transferred to the state penitentiary. Confusion arose because another inmate named Brian James was to be released on probation.