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Former Isabella County Jail Administrator to Stand Trial for Assaulting Inmate

LANSING – An Isabella County judge has ruled there’s enough probable cause to send a former corrections officer to trial for assaulting an inmate in the jail, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. 

Last October, Christopher Cluley was charged with the following in 76th District Court: 

  • two counts of misconduct in office, five-year felonies; and  
  • one count of aggravated assault, a one-year misdemeanor. 

This morning, Judge Sara Spencer-Noggle bound the case over to Isabella County Circuit Court following a lengthy preliminary exam.  

“This case was the result of our public integrity team scrutinizing Mr. Cluley’s conduct to ensure the oath to protect and serve was not neglected,” Nessel said. “We look forward to moving to trial.” 

In April 2020, Sgt. Cluley was working in the Isabella County Jail as the administrator in charge when he interacted with an inmate during a cell transfer. The transfer was the result of a verbal disagreement between the inmate and another corrections officer.  

Once the inmate was standing just outside of the cell, video evidence shows Cluley grabbed the inmate, spun him around and pushed him into the cell door before then pushing him into the wall next to the cell door. Then, after walking the inmate to the new cell, video evidence shows Cluley pushed the inmate to the ground, where the inmate cried out in pain upon crashing to the floor. 

An x-ray later determined the inmate suffered a fractured left knee.  

Cluley was placed on administrative leave while the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department conducted an internal investigation. The Isabella County Sheriff’s Department then contacted the Michigan State Police (MSP) and MSP’s Special Investigation Section completed their own investigation and referred the matter to the Department of Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit. 

Additional questions surrounding his employment should be directed to the sheriff’s department. 


Please note:  A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The Department does not provide booking photos.