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El Paso Co. inmate set to receive $750k in jail abuse case

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - El Paso County Commissioners have agreed to a settlement with a former El Paso County Jail inmate worth three-quarters of a million dollars. The former El Paso County Jail inmate claims he was severely beaten by deputies in the jail and wasn't given the proper medical treatment for his injuries.

On Monday, commissioners unanimously voted to ratify an emergency resolution granting 41-year old Rodney Eaves more than $237,000 from County taxpayers out of a $750,000 settlement agreement. The remaining two-thirds of the agreement is covered by insurance.

41-year old Rodney Eaves

More than a year after the alleged incident in April 2015, Eaves filed a handwritten 20-page complaint through US District Court in Denver. In the complaint, Eaves says he was taken to special detention without just cause. That's where the former El Paso County inmate said he was assaulted and battered by deputies. Eaves says his face was repeatedly slammed into the floor while he was handcuffed.

The El Paso County Jail inmate said he didn't receive medical treatment for nine days after the incident. According to federal court records, Eaves experienced extreme injuries including an orbital fracture, bruising, and neck pain.

In his complaint filed in 2016, Eaves claims El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder allows deputies to use excessive force towards inmates at the jail.

13 Investigates reached out to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office for comment. A spokesperson said they don't speak on settlements and directed 13 Investigates to the County Attorney.

Federal court records show both El Paso County and Eaves attorneys were negotiating for a deal since August. The records state there was "little possibility of a settlement." A five-day jury trial was scheduled to begin on November 15. Monday, December 8, the county approved a settlement where taxpayers would pay exactly $237,044.33 to Eaves.

Eaves is currently serving a 30-year sentence at the Bent County Correctional Correctional Facility. He was convicted of an aggravated robbery charge in May 2016. According to the Department of Corrections, Eaves' next parole hearing is in 2037.

An attorney for Eaves declined to comment on our story at this time. The settlement agreement between Eaves and El Paso County still needs to be reviewed by a judge.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

10 Comments

  1. Let us all remember this the next time we have a ballot measure to increase taxes for our county jail.

    1. What does funding the jail have to do with this?
      .
      The problem here is the voters re-electing the most corrupt Sheriff, Bill Elder, in the history of the county. There was already plenty of dirt on him in the public domain before his last election, even a website (DirtyElder(dot)com) dedicated to reporting on his corruption, yet voters blindly elected him again. Now his equally inept Undersheriff, Joe Roybal, a “chip off the ol’ block” is running for Sheriff.
      .
      Let’s see if the voter pull their heads out of their @$$es and find someone new this time.

      1. I dont disagree, my point is they will just rob Peter to pay Paul and come next election they will be proposing a ballot measure to fund whatever they shorted to pay this out…

  2. “On Monday, commissioners unanimously voted to ratify an emergency resolution granting 41-year old Rodney Eaves more than $237,000 from County taxpayers out of a $750,000 settlement agreement. The remaining two-thirds of the agreement is covered by insurance.”
    Do not be fooled, the taxpayers are paying the entire amount of this $750,000.00. Similar to your own insurance policies, when you file a claim on your policy, the policy rate goes up for 3-5 years so the insurance company can recuperate the lost funds. So we the taxpayers will pay for this settlement based upon the EPSO’s actions for the next 3-5 years, but they will not openly admit this to the public. Hence this statement, “A spokesperson said they don’t speak on settlements and directed 13 Investigates to the County Attorney.”
    The information that should be in this report is the outcome of the deputies or officers that were involved in this excessive use of force lawsuit. Were the deputies retained or were they let go. Why is this not reported upon. Our LEA’s do not need to retain deputies or officers that demonstrate these types of behavior and only further jeopardize the sanct(i)ty of these agencies by being retained. What message is our Law Enforcement administrators sending to the community by retaining this type of personnel. Remember this was a settlement, which means the county attorney felt the county would not have a likely chance of winning this case in a court of law, which is akin to an admission of guilt.
    More tax money will not fix this problem, as they are not adequately using the funds they have now. They need better accountability and hold the person’s accountable for their actions, why should the taxpayers pay for the recklessness of these deputies or officers, it was their actions, not the taxpayers actions.

    1. Additionally, since this is a department issue, not punishing the department or the departments elected officials and leaders by placing it on their insurance only allows this to continue because the leadership and the deputies or officers face no repercussions for their actions. Vicarious liability is real, and if these deputies or officers are inadequately trained, as seen by actions causing excessive use of force, then they should be held accountable, not the taxpayers.

      1. Did you miss this part” the county approved a settlement where taxpayers would pay exactly $237,044.33 to Eaves” It did not go all on insurance, we get to pay 1/3 of it. Dont worry I’m sure we will an additional sale tax measure to make up for it…

        1. We are paying all of it, who do you think pays for our counties insurance plan, the taxpayers do. We the taxpayers pay the $237,044.33 immediately, Over the next 3-5 years we the taxpayers will pay the increased premium of the insurance policy with this claim on it. As I stated, the insurance company will get their money back and then some. Just like if you file a claim on your insurance policy to fix your windshield on your vehicle. The next time your policy is up for review, they will increase the policy rate due to the added claim for 3-5 years. Over that time you will pay more than if you would have replace the windshield out of pocket from the beginning and not filed an insurance claim.

  3. Defund the police. Fund the criminals. How long will this pattern last before our city / society implodes? And if you’re thinking I’m a right-wing crazy, case-in-point.

  4. Well, he’s on easy street now. I’m sure he’ll invest and spend the money wisely, like get an education, and do something to bennifit society.

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