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Published: Friday, 12/22/2006

Ex-prison staffer faces inquiry

A Toledo Correctional Institution employee resigned from her job in the food service area after an allegation that she was involved in "inappropriate behavior" with an inmate.

Cheryl Malay, 47, of Oregon, resigned Dec. 14 from her three-year post at the state prison, said Andrea Dean, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

That was the same day the department notified the Ohio Highway Patrol of a case at the prison in which a female staff member reportedly had sexual relations with a male inmate, highway patrol Lt. Tony Bradshaw said.

The lieutenant could not verify if Mrs. Malay was the staff member and said no charges have been filed. He said the patrol is in the information-gathering stage and will present its findings to the Lucas County prosecutor.

He said the inmate was moved from the Toledo prison to Mansfield Correctional Institution.

Ms. Dean said the state patrol was investigating the matter involving Mrs. Malay. She said she did not have information about the inmate.

Ms. Dean said "whenever there is someone accused of inappropriate behavior that could border on criminal [behavior] or removal from the job, the option to resign is available to them." The criminal, and possibly internal, investigation continues, she said.

Five days after Mrs. Malay resigned, her husband, John, hanged himself at the couple's home. His death was ruled a suicide by the Lucas County Coroner's Office.

Mr. Malay, 47, was the maintenance supervisor at the Toledo prison, where he worked since it opened in 2000. He was a 20-year employee with the state prison system, Ms. Dean said.

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