Friday, May 28, 1999

Former prison guard
files disability lawsuit

By Craig Gima


A former Halawa prison guard indicted for manslaughter in the death of an inmate is suing the Department of Public Safety alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Brian Freitas is seeking back pay, retirement benefits and compensatory and punitive damages in federal court. Last month, Freitas was indicted on a manslaughter charge in the death of inmate Anthony Revera, who was serving a 10-year prison term for rape.

According to the lawsuit, Freitas suffered from depression after the deaths of two co-workers and was diagnosed with acute post-traumatic stress disorder.

The department, it is alleged, did not accommodate Freitas' disability.

The lawsuit said Freitas went into a deep depression and did not leave his home for seven days. Department policy requires him to go to a doctor every day he is sick and when Freitas did not do that, he was fired.

Revera was found dead in his cell April 23. He had been transferred from the correctional facility's medical unit and was given a shot of Benadryl and Haldol to calm him down after he allegedly bit the hand of a guard.

An autopsy revealed that Revera had a swelling of the brain.

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