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Two jail staffers charged in inmate death of Terrill Thomas have resigned, third recommended for termination

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – After three jail employees were charged in death of inmate Terrill Thomas, the Milwaukee County Acting Sheriff is taking action.

Sheriff Schmidt said that Nancy Evans and Kashka Meadors resigned this week before the conclusion of the Internal Affairs investigation.

James Ramsey-Guy has not resigned and the Sheriff has recommended that the Personnel Review Board fire him based on the investigation.

The Sheriff also said that he would have recommended that Evans and Meadors be fired if they hadn't resigned.

According to the criminal complaints, it was Meadors that ordered Ramsey-Guy to shut off water in Thomas' cell. The complaints also show Evans had knowledge the water was turned off. She lied about that knowledge and did not preserve surveillance footage of the incident. Thomas went seven days without water in his cell.

"All this comes back to them. They have to re-live, essentially, a bad incident in their life and the loss of a person they loved," said Walter Stern. Stern represents four of Terrill Thomas' children, the heirs to his estate. He says it's been an emotional week for them.

"They are pleased there are charges. They would have rather that it been the seven people found by the jury to be responsible. They would have rather that the jury would have had an option to recommend homicide as opposed to neglect," said Stern.

The family is glad three of those staffers won't be working at the jail any longer, but they are hoping for jail reform going forward. They don't want what happened to their father to happen to anyone else.

"They really hope that that type of punishment ends," said Stern.

Sheriff Schmidt, who ran the jail from 2004 to 2010, says he's added special staff to attend to prisoner needs.

"Every single inmate is not only is being checked by correctional officers every day, medical staff every day, these wellness officers, that's all they do. These are high paid captains. I've put $500,000 worth of resources, people into that jail to make sure inmates get proper care," said Schmidt.

Sheriff Schmidt says these wellness officers have 15-20 years of experience and can recognize signs in a person and when someone is "detereorating." The sheriff says he's also added other positions to the jail and that it's been "transformed" since he took over the position.

The decision of Ramsey-Guy's termination with the jail is now in the hands of the Milwaukee County Personnel Review Board.

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