Corrections officer returns to work Kimball is recertified

assault charge is pending

August 14, 1996|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

A controversial shift commander at the Howard County Detention Center who was removed from his post in May because he lacked state certification will return to work today after completing the required five-week training course.

"I'll be there at 6: 30 a.m.," said Capt. Thomas V. Kimball, who oversees 43 officers on the day shift.

Yesterday, Kimball graduated from the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions program with 48 others. He was chosen by the class to speak at the ceremony.

Kimball previously worked as assistant warden at Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County and has been in corrections for 20 years. But because of the gap between the time Kimball left ECI in 1989 and started in Howard in 1994, he was supposed to have been recertified as a correctional officer, state officials have said.

At the time, jail and state officials described the discovery of Kimball's lack of certification as an oversight.

Kimball also has been involved in an assault allegation. An Ellicott City man, Michael A. Saukas, said Kimball beat him in February while he was an inmate in handcuffs. Saukas recently pressed assault charges against Kimball and another jail officer. A trial date is scheduled tomorrow.

James N. Rollins, director of the jail, said Kimball will resume his post today under exactly the same conditions as he left.

"Although there have been allegations with reference to him, we've had no problems with him so he is going to be returning to his job," Rollins said.

Asked about Saukas' allegations, Kimball responded: "Saukas acted out. I tried to defend myself. That's it."

In that incident, Kimball initially filed assault charges against Saukas.

But then in June those charges were dropped as part of a deal in which Saukas agreed not to sue the county for injuries he says he received in the scuffle.

Kimball said he enjoyed the five-week training course, which he called a "refresher."

He said that the course changed his outlook and that he planned to do things differently now.

He did not specify what those differences might be.

Pub Date: 8/14/96

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