I-Team: Employee who left door open during Cleveland jail escape disciplined

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HIGHLAND HILLS - The Fox 8 I-Team has learned of internal discipline for a worker because of a summer escape at a Cleveland jail. We found the escapee did not get significant punishment from the courts.

Jail cook Carmelo Cruz is taking the fall for the jail escape. He received a 10-day suspension.

A City of Cleveland discipline letter notes he had left a back kitchen door open. On the day of the escape, the letter says Cruz claimed he had opened the door to take crates out. However, the city says video does not show him taking crates out. Plus, the city says Cruz didn’t report the inmate missing for more than an hour.

Additionally, the city says Cruz had been spoken to before about leaving the back door open.

Inmate Darryl Smith escaped and had been doing time for threatening to kill an ex-girlfriend. U.S. Marshals found him later.

While on the run, Smith called the I-Team and bragged about getting out. He said he had noticed when guards weren’t paying attention, and he indicated he had help from other inmates in getting out.

After getting caught, Smith got indicted for the escape, but a judge gave him credit for time served. Since then, the court says he’s been serving out his original sentence.

The jail cook got a bit of a break though. Half of his suspension is being held off so that he won’t have to serve it unless he gets into more trouble.