Two jail employees sickened after exposure to unknown substance

Rose James
Staff Writer

BROOKVILLE — Jefferson County Jail Warden Tom Elbel announced during a jail board meeting Tuesday afternoon that two employees, a lieutenant and a corrections officer, were taken to the hospital after being exposed to something on clothing an inmate’s family had dropped off for the work release program.

“Last night around 11:30 p.m., we had two officers that became ill. One was disoriented, loss of balance, that kind of thing. The other one just seemed aggravated, and they both had rashes. We don’t know what it is at this time, and they are telling us that we probably won’t know is what the toxicologist is going to say,” Elbel said. “Right away, I have to assume that it is these drugs that we keep hearing about in the state system; we all know they have new mandatory rules because of these drugs. We assume this is what this was.”

Deputy Warden Dustin Myers expressed that after watching jail video, the two officers were the only ones who came in contact with the clothing items.

One of the affected employees was taken to Pittsburgh Presbyterian Hospital, where he was expected to be released shortly. The other did not come in contact with the clothing until after it had been cleaned; her symptoms were not as severe and were treated locally.

The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating.