Sunday, April 6, 2003

Key figures during the riot

The riot mastermind

Carlos Sanders was among four inmates sentenced to death for killing guard Robert Vallandingham. In 1993, Sanders was serving 10-15 years for aggravated robbery and was a leader of Muslim prisoners. Sanders has exhausted all state appeals and plans to take his case to federal court. He is being held in the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.

The warden

Arthur Tate Jr., a 24-year veteran of the state prison system, took over the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in 1990. Rioting inmates demanded his dismissal. Afterward, the 45-year-old Tate continued to work in corrections overseeing inmate grievances. He later was warden at the Belmont Correctional Institution. Tate retired in 2001 and now works for the Ohio Department of Youth Services.

The governor

George Voinovich, governor when the Lucasville riots unfolded, called in the National Guard on Day 4 of the uprising. He collaborated with the FBI and state authorities extensively in tactics and surrender strategies. Today, he's the junior U.S. senator from Ohio.

TV news anchor

Norma Rashid, a reporter/anchor for WLWT-TV (Channel 5) in Cincinnati, was 51/2 months pregnant when she covered the riots for 10 of its 11 days. On the 11th day, she became a national face when Channel 5 was picked to broadcast the surrender. "There were no breaks for the bathroom or anything else," Rashid, now 47, recalls. Today, the Fort Thomas woman is on medical leave because of a heart condition.

The negotiator

Niki Zola Schwartz, a Cleveland attorney and prison advocate, negotiated on behalf of the rioting inmates for several days. He eventually helped to hammer out the surrender agreement. Today, he continues to practice law in Cleveland and remains an advocate for reform in Ohio's prison system.

The FBI special agent

Allen Tolen, special agent in charge of the Cincinnati FBI office, led law enforcement efforts during the riots, working closely with state police and the governor's office. Afterward, he criticized Ohio officials for questionable public information policies during the riot - most notably for not squelching early rumors that dozens of inmates had died and guards were being tortured. Today, Tolen is retired from the FBI and lives in Las Vegas.

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