April 06, 2020

Ex-York County officer to appeal firing

ALFRED — A York County corrections officer fired over alleged use of excessive force against an inmate will appeal his termination, a union official said.

Jeff Leach of Saco, a nine-year veteran of the jail, was fired Wednesday over the Dec. 13 incident with inmate John Chick.

Sheriff C. Wesley Phinney recommended the firing. He said Leach used his fists when trying to subdue Chick and that the inmate received a cut over his eye.

William Terkowitz of Teamsters Union Local 340 said Leach was trying to intervene in an escalating fracas.

“Three were trying to take him [the inmate] down and he [Leach] came to help … I don’t believe what he’s been charged with is excessive force, it just happened in the heat of battle,” he said.

The York County commissioners fired Leach Wednesday without hearing his side of the story. An appeal would give Leach a formal hearing before the commissioners.

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