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Ex-Isabella County corrections officer charged with assaulting an inmate

Incident happened in April of 2020 as officer allegedly pushed inmate, who broke a knee cap.
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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ISABELLA COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A former Isabella County corrections officer has been criminally charged, accused of assaulting an inmate in the jail.

The incident happened in April of 2020.

Following a Michigan State Police probe, the state Attorney General’s office authorized three criminal charges.

Christopher Cluley is accused of pushing an inmate, who fell to the floor and was injured.

Cluley is also accused of not getting medical help for a couple of hours and then lying about what actually happened.

The 45-year-old Cluley faces two counts of common law offenses and one count of aggravated assault.

Investigators say back on April 12th, 2020, Cluley was a supervising corrections officer in the Isabella County Jail.

They say Cluley forcibly took an inmate down a hallway, pushed him through a doorway and the inmate fell, breaking his patella. Cluley is accused of then leaving the inmate for two and a half hours without getting any medical attention.

He’s also accused of lying in a report about what happened. Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main confirms Cluley was suspended in April 2020, and then this past April, he was fired. The incident is on video.

“I have not seen the video, that has not been provided,” says Cluley’s attorney, John Freeman.

“My client has had a long career as a dedicated public servant, we 100 percent dispute the accuracy of the allegations,” says Freeman.

A past news report indicates Cluley was fired from the sheriff’s office in 2008 after he was accused of using excessive force on another inmate. It appears he got his job back through an arbitration process.

“If that is factually accurate, what I think that suggests that in 2008 he was vindicated, because he got his job back,” says Freeman.

Sheriff Michael Main released a statement, saying in part that an internal probe “determined that several policy violations had occurred showing an egregious behavior and systemic failure of the employee to perform his duties as a corrections officer in this incident. The employee never returned to the jail or building in any capacity from the point of initial reports of the incident to the day of termination.”

Cluley has been released on a personal recognizance bond.

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