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Allegheny County Jail administrator fired amid lawsuit, investigation

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By Bill Vidonic
Friday, Oct. 28, 2011

A high-ranking Allegheny County Jail administrator was fired today, as the jail remains in the midst of a federal investigation.

Major James Donis, fourth in command at the jail who oversaw special operations, is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed this month by an inmate who said Donis and other members of the special response team beat him severely after a botched escape attempt.

Judi McNeil, spokeswoman for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, would not say whether Donis' firing was related to the lawsuit or ongoing federal investigation.
"It is a personnel matter," McNeil said.

Donis did not answer his cell phone. Interim Warden Trevor Wingard refused comment.

Donis' attorney, Charles Porter, could not be reached for comment.

Donis, 49, was hired in September 1989, and, according to county records, his salary for 2011 was $68,631.

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