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Published: Saturday, 2/26/2005

Ex-worker alleges abuse of prisoners

BOWLING GREEN - A former youth adviser at the Juvenile Residential Center of Northwest Ohio has sued the lockup, saying he was fired because he reported the mistreatment of juveniles being held there.

Ronald Glover of Toledo filed the complaint this week in Wood County Common Pleas Court against the center and Bridget Ansberg, its director.

In the complaint, Mr. Glover said he was employed for nearly four years to work with and observe incarcerated juveniles. Beginning in 2002, he said he "observed, on repeated occasions, employees verbally and physically abusing the juveniles housed in the facility."

Mr. Glover claims he made oral and written complaints about the incidents, but the problems were never addressed. Instead, he was threatened with termination if he continued to report the violations, the lawsuit states.

On July 3, 2004, Mr. Glover said he was helping to restrain a juvenile when another employee struck the youth twice in the stomach and once in the mouth.

He reported the incident in writing and said his job was again threatened.

Mr. Glover said Ms. Ansberg repeatedly told him to drop his complaint or change his story, but he refused.

On Sept. 24, he was fired, he said, again after refusing to lie about what happened.

Ms. Ansberg could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The center is a 42-bed treatment facility for juveniles from a 10-county area who are found delinquent of felony-level offenses.

Mr. Glover is seeking damages in excess of $25,000, including back pay and attorney fees. The case was assigned to Judge Reeve Kelsey.

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