Judge Denies Release Of Two Broome County Jail Inmates

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CORNING, NY (WSKG) – Some Broome County inmates have been denied immediate release by a New York State Supreme Court judge.

Broome County Sheriff David Harder. (Gabe Altieri/WSKG)

Judge Jeffrey Tait sided with the Broome County Jail and Sheriff David Harder. Tait ruled inmates Sean Post and Roderick Ziennker did not establish their vulnerability to COVID-19 inside the jail.

“We respect the judge’s decision, but are disappointed in the outcome,” said Josh Cotter of Legal Services of Central New York, who represented the inmates.

“The silver lining of the decision being it kind- it gives us a roadmap to follow, if we want to bring future cases focusing on the medical issues that people face and whether or not the jail is actually implementing the safety procedures they say they are,” Cotter added.

According to jail medical records, the petitioners never said they had underlying medical conditions.

Jail Administrator, Mark Smolinsky, claimed in court documents to provide enough hand sanitizer and masks to the inmates. Smolinsky also indicated that the jail staff conducts temperature checks on everyone who enters the correctional facility.

However, Cotter said his team is not convinced with the jail administrator’s claims. He said inmates and their families have told him otherwise. And, he stated the team will continue to petition the courts if the jail is found to not follow procedures set forth in the initial court case.

According to court documents, Post is a 37-year-old with Lyme Disease and hypertension. He violated parole on an order of protection and is unable to post bail. Zienneker is a 61-year-old with high blood pressure and liver disease. He is serving a sentence for petty larceny.

According to Cotter, Post now waits for the pretrial process for his parole violations. Ziennker will be released on May 4, as planned, after time served.