Federal probe sought in Maine inmate’s prison death

Posted Nov. 17, 2010, at 3:52 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Advocates for Maine prison inmates say they’ll ask the federal government to investigate the death of an inmate nearly a year ago.

Leaders of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition said Wednesday they’re preparing a request to the Office of Civil Rights of the Justice Department to investigate the death of 52-year-old Victor Valdez of Portland in November 2009.

At a State House news conference, coalition spokeswoman Judy Garvey said Valdez, who had kidney disease, was taken off dialysis and mistreated by prison staff before his death in the medical unit of the state prison in Warren. No autopsy was conducted.

An investigation by the Maine Attorney General’s office has found no evidence to suggest that Valdez’s death was the result of foul play or otherwise suspicious.

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