Justice authority votes to authorize attorneys to offer settlement in Huff lawsuit

Garfield County Detention Facility

Garfield County Criminal Justice Authority went into executive session Thursday with its attorneys concerning a lawsuit against the jail, among others.

The authority voted at 5:33 p.m. to enter into executive session, which is closed to the public, to meet with its attorneys Don Bingham and Sharon K. Weaver to discuss a lawsuit filed by the estate of Anthony Huff.

Huff died in June 2016 in jail custody after being confined for more than two days to a restraint chair.

The civil case was filed by James Graham, Huff's brother and special administrator for his estate, in September 2017, and is set to proceed in the wake of three years of criminal proceedings that netted little jail time for Huff's death. The lawsuit is seeking actual and compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, as well as punitive damages, attorneys fees and costs.

The authority and its attorneys returned from executive session at 6:43 p.m.

Sheriff Jody Helm moved to vote to authorize Bingham to enter into settlement with Huff's estate for the amount discussed in executive session. Authority trustee Anthony Clardy Sr. seconded the motion and it passed with a unanimous vote.

The figure discussed in executive session was not disclosed during the meeting.

Helm gave a brief status report on jail operations. He said there were 189 inmates as that afternoon and seven were released Thursday.

The authority again voted to enter into executive session, this time to discuss the position jail administrator. Members entered into executive session at 6:46 and returned at 7:27 p.m.

No action was taken following the session. The application period for the position closes Sunday.

GCCJA will hold another special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Garfield County Detention Facility, 1020 S. 10th.

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