County Pays $150K Settlement For Corrections Officer Incident

MAYVILLE – The county and two former inmates have reached a claims settlement stemming from incidents involving former corrections officer Jeffrey Swan.

The County Legislature approved an emergency resolution during Wednesday’s meeting to settle claims made by former Chautauqua County Jail inmates Naseka Browne and Tashiany Martin in the amount of $75,000 each. The presented resolution didn’t specify the incident.

On Thursday, County Attorney Steve Abdella confirmed the settlements stem from a 2014 incident in which Swan was found to have engaged in sexual contact with Browne and Martin. Swan was charged in April 2014 with third-degree criminal sexual act, a Class E felony. Both inmates are no longer in the County Jail.

The $150,000 settlement, recommended by the county’s insurance carrier and the County Law Department, will be paid out of the county’s liability and casualty reserve fund. Abdella said the two individuals filed civil rights claims in federal court.

Swan, who had worked for the Sheriff’s Office for over 20 years, resigned from his position in February 2015 after a joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office led to his suspension.

“This is something that never should have happened,” Sheriff Joe Gerace told The Post-Journal on Thursday. “It was the actions of one individual that acted outside of our rules, regulations and the law. The county was held responsible for his actions.”

Swan received 10 years probation and is a registered sex offender, according to District Attorney Patrick Swanson.