County to settle jail lawsuits

Kitchen supervisor target of sex, harassment claims
Apr. 25, 2013 @ 11:55 PM

The county appears set to settle federal lawsuits filed by two former inmates who said they were assaulted by the one-time kitchen supervisor for the facility.

Paul Lintner was a former inmate at the jail himself, but the sheriff’s office later hired him to oversee the kitchen. Several male inmates complained that Lintner inappropriately touched them while they were working in the kitchen as trustees.

In 2009, he entered a guilty plea to a single count of sexual contact with an inmate. Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, another five counts of the crime were dropped.

One of the two inmates who filed suit was the man Lintner pleaded guilty to touching. The man filed a $15 million federal complaint against the county over the incidents, claiming Lintner used the benefits of being a trustee and working in the kitchen, as well as financial payoffs, to get the man to have sex with him while he was a prisoner under Lintner’s supervision.

Lintner’s attorney maintained he was entering a best interest plea, meaning he was not admitting to touching the man but was acknowledging the state could prove its case against him and it served Linter’s interest to accept the plea agreement.

The second inmate said that Lintner harassed him, but never had intercourse with him. He sought $11 million.

They both maintained that inmates and jailers were aware of Lintner’s activities with them and other inmates.

Court documents indicate the cases were sent to mediation, and that both parties agreed to a settlement. The court records don’t mention how much — if any — money the county paid as part of the settlements.

While the records indicate both parties agreed to the settlement, the judge in the case has not approved the terms yet.

Sheriff Ron Seals referred questions about the settlement to the county mayor’s office; spokesman Perrin Anderson said the terms of the settlement were sealed as part of the agreement.,

Attorney Dana Scott Pemberton, who represented both plaintiffs, could not be reached for comments.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com