Two more suits filed against Grant jailer

WILLIAMSTOWN — Two more lawsuits have been filed against a Northern Kentucky jailer, bringing the total to five.

The Kentucky Enquirer reported that one former jail employee is claiming he was fired after bringing problems to the attention of Jailer Terry Peeples while another claims she was the victim of sexual harassment.

The lawsuits come on top of three that are currently pending against Peeples and a series of others involving previous administrations at the jail that were settled for more than $2 million.

Peeples took over as jailer in January 2011 after running on a platform of change. He was out of town on Wednesday at a state jailers' conference and unavailable for comment. Grant County Attorney Joe Taylor declined to comment.

Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Crawford said the lawsuits illustrate problems that have plagued the jail since it expanded in 2000 from 28 beds to more than 300.

"The expanded jail ... created a type of atmosphere where you have to dot every 'i' and cross every 't,' " Crawford said. "If you don't, it may not be criminal, but you can expect civil litigation — and that has been what's consistently happened."

Attorney Barbara Bonar, who is representing the most recent plaintiffs, said there is a lack of training and a focus on retaliation at the jail.

"The only way our citizens remain safe is by whistle-blowers such as these clients," Bonar said. "They do the right thing by reporting the illegal conduct. For them to lose their job for doing the right thing is such a travesty."