Records show a Hall County jail sergeant fired for allegedly punching an inmate in June had been transferred to the jail shortly after a two-day suspension in 2012.
Former Sgt. Kenny Lane is under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations in connection with the striking of an inmate, whose hands were cuffed behind his back.
According to documents in Lane’s personnel file obtained by The Times through the Georgia Open Records Act, he was moved to the jail from the ADVANCE unit on April 20, 2012, following a two-day suspension without pay for unbecoming conduct and harassment.
He had faced disciplinary measures on one other occasion: in 1990, for “using rude or insulting language to the public” while he worked as a deputy in the jail.
Between those incidents, Lane had received several accolades and positive feedback over the more than 20-year period. He served 24 years’ total for the sheriff’s office before being placed on administrative leave June 14.
On the day in question, the inmate, Kendrick Goss, allegedly assaulted and injured two jailers, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
Goss is being held in the jail on charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment in an alleged January shooting in Gainesville. His most recent run-in with the law was a guilty plea to obstruction of an officer in March 2013, and he had been accused of violence in the past, with charges of battery in 2010, 2009 and 2007.
In a news release on the incident, the sheriff’s office said a shift lieutenant observed the assault and intervened. The office is not commenting pending a GBI investigation.
The GBI has levied criminal charges against former jailers. Former Deputies Dustin Charlton and David Pirkle were fired in connection with allegedly striking handcuffed inmates after 2012 incidents.
Pirkle pleaded guilty to one count of simple battery and was sentenced on Sept. 4 for his role in a Dec. 30, 2012, incident. He was indicted by a Hall County grand jury on two charges: simple battery and violation of oath of office by a public officer, a felony, which was dropped as part of the plea agreement.
He was sentenced to serve 12 months’ probation and also ordered to pay a $675 fine.
Charlton faces identical charges with similar alleged circumstances from a Sept. 8, 2012, incident at the jail. Charlton was charged in December 2012 with simple battery and violation of oath of office. The outcome of his case is still pending after indictment by a grand jury in the spring.
He also has been named in two lawsuits in Gainesville’s federal civil court filed by inmates alleging civil rights violations.
One case was dropped at the end of June, and stemmed from a separate incident that was investigated but did not result in his termination or criminal charges.