TRAVERSE CITY — Funds to allow for a settlement between Grand Traverse County and the family of a man who killed himself in the county's jail in 2017 have been approved for release by commissioners.
Commissioners met in closed session at the end of a regular board meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the potential settlement, after which they returned to open session and authorized the release of an undisclosed amount. The funds are to be released from the county’s insurance company, the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority.
“This is better than going to trial — always,” Commissioner Cheryl Gore Follette said after the meeting.
Alan Bradley Halloway was found hanging from a pair of socks inside his cell in July 2017. Two corrections officers — deputies Rachel Gillis and Ryan Kigar — left their jobs two months after an investigative probe revealed skipped rounds, mishandled paperwork and other inadequacies in the wake of Halloway’s death.
County board Chairperson Carol Crawford declined to specify the settlement amount following the board meeting, saying the settlement hasn’t been finalized yet.
“I haven’t signed it, the other side (Halloway’s family) hasn’t signed the agreement and it has to go to probate court and get approved,” Crawford said.
A hearing will be scheduled in front of Probate/Family Division Judge Melanie Stanton, said Christopher Forsyth, the county’s deputy civil counsel.
“Until we get that hearing, this case — it’s resolved, but we can’t comment,” Forsyth said.
Calls to Jesse Williams, attorney for the Halloway family, were not returned by press time.
Halloway was awaiting a court hearing on a $1 million bond before his death. Deputies arrested him the week prior following a brief standoff outside his home. Authorities suspected he shot a man at Bay Hill Apartments and he was later charged with multiple felonies, including attempted murder.
Gillis — who was assigned to monitor cameras at the time of Halloway’s death — resigned shortly after the investigation began and directed all future communication to her lawyer. Kigar was fired after reports indicated he left Halloway alone for nearly three hours.
Halloway — after initial placement on suicide watch — was eventually shuttled into a standard cell after he met with a doctor, denied any suicidal tendencies and personally requested to be released from the heightened security. A doctor obliged “based on” that information, according to reports.
Jail logs also showed Kigar — among other officers — had routinely neglected Halloway’s cell during his four-day stay. Department policies require inmates be observed every 59 minutes. Investigative reports showed Halloway’s hourly checks were missed on more than 25 occasions.
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