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Federal lawsuit against Bureau County

PRINCETON — A federal lawsuit claiming a Chicago man received improper medical care while an inmate at the Bureau County Jail has been forwarded to the Bureau County State's Attorney's office.

Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson said he received a copy of the lawsuit on Tuesday. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month by Arick Buckles, 40, of Chicago in the U.S. District Court in Peoria. Buckles claimed his prescription medications were repeatedly denied while he was in the county jail in the fall of 2010.

Thompson said he has given the lawsuit to Bureau County State's Attorney Patrick Herrmann. He (Thompson) has absolute faith in the judicial system that it will see that some people will try to take advantage of any opportunity. He has confidence the judicial system will prevail appropriately, the sheriff said.

One year ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on behalf of Buckles, contacted the Illinois Department of Corrections to file a complaint against Thompson and Bureau County for allegedly denying Buckles needed prescribed HIV medication while he was an inmate for one week in the county jail. Buckles had been arrested on an outstanding warrant for passing bad checks.

At that time, ACLU attorney John Knight said he was not ruling out a lawsuit, depending on the county's response and the Department of Corrections investigation into the Buckles' claim.

Thompson said he was not contacted by the Department of Corrections in regards to any claims by Buckles. If there had been a problem, he would have been contacted, and it is his responsibility to correct them, he said.

According to an Associated Press report, Illinois Department of Corrections spokesperson Stacey Solano has confirmed IDOC looked into the Bureau County matter last year and found "no violations of the county jail and detention standards."

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.


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