Fired Craighead Jailer Loses Civil Rights Grievance Claim

MAY 25, 2004 - Posted at 3:39 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Four members of the Craighead County Quorum Court have ruled that Sheriff Jack McCann did not violate the civil rights of a former jailer by firing him over the beating of a prisoner.

Former jail night supervisor Jody Miller had filed a grievance over his termination.  The complaint was rejected last night at a meeting of the county grievance committee.

The meeting was supposed to be an informal hearing, but attorneys for the county told the judges they had to make a final ruling then.  Most of the committee members agreed afterwards that they did not have enough information to make a final decision.

However, all but one, Justice Jim Bryant, ruled that McCann had not violated Miller's civil rights.

Miller was fired after an investigation of the alleged beating of prisoner Terry O'Neil on March 31.  Miller admits to kicking O'Neil, but insists he did not use excessive force.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)