County Jail Destroyed Records in Inmate Death
October 8, 2010
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Family of Dead Inmate Sues Sangamon County Jail

Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office employees have destroyed or failed to disclose records in the death of accused pedophile A. Paul Carlock, who died after struggling with county jail guards, according to lawyers for Carlock’s relatives.

According to documents filed Wednesday by attorneys for Carlock’s estate, officials might have had a videotape of guards restraining Carlock in the county jail in 2007, but later destroyed it.

Furthermore, the attorneys say, electronic documents pertaining to the case have been wiped from the county’s computer system despite a “litigation hold” barring the destruction of records. Other electronic documents that should have been turned over to the family’s lawyers were discovered only recently by a plaintiff’s computer expert.

“The failure of defendants and their counsel to prevent destruction of material evidence concerning Mr. Carlock’s detention and death in the jail was done with knowledge of a duty to preserve this evidence,” wrote computer consultant Andrew Garrett in a 16-page report. “This means the failure to preserve, at the very least, constitutes gross negligence and reckless conduct. However, in my opinion, the failure to preserve here is more likely willful, intentional and in bad faith.”

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