Cleveland Juvenile Chief Lasts Less Than One Day on Job

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The man tapped to lead Cleveland’s troubled juvenile detention center resigned after only five hours, telling the administrative judge “his heart just wasn’t in it,” the Plain Dealer reports. Donald Shewalter was hired to replace Delbert Montgomery, who was fired after less than a year in his position.

Montgomery had been hailed as the answer to the detention center’s problems following a riot at the detention center in 2018 and an ensuing report by the Washington-D.C. based Center for Children’s Law and Policy that found routine inmate mistreatment and dysfunction in leadership. Among the issues cited in his firing: sexual harassment of employees, putting juvenile inmates in isolation for disrespecting him, retaliating against employees who reported his misdeeds to superiors, lying to Cuyahoga County Council and general poor performance. In a memo to staff, Administrative Judge Kristin Sweeney likened the ongoing search for a better chief to the lifelong struggles of artists and activists: “We will persist in working to make things better for the kids and families we serve, and for each other… Some people decide that working at juvenile court is not for them, and that’s okay.”

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