Thursday, June 12, 2008

You've got a funny way of cooperating there, Mayor Jim Newberry

Just got the following statement from civil Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry in my email. His statement needs a little clarification:

"While the alleged violations occurred in 2006, prior to our administration taking office, we have over the past 17 months proactively implemented various measures to help ensure a safe and secure facility for both our employees and the inmates."

Right. You also have proactively tried several times to fire whistleblower John Vest and have fought him vigorously in his civil suit against the city. How has that made anyone safer? No, I'm completely serious. How does abusing a whistleblower make anyone safer anywhere?

"In 2007, we installed video cameras in the intake area, one site of alleged criminal activity, and have completely restructured staff in intake."

And you left Director Ron Bishop and Deputy Director Don Leach in place to continue the same policies that caused the problem. Wonder why?

"We have been aware of the ongoing investigation at the jail and will continue to fully cooperate. Sgt. John McQueen, Corrections Officer Clarence McCoy, Sgt. Anthony Estep and Lt. Kristen Lafoe are employed by the Division of Community Corrections. Scott Tyree is a former corrections officer who has transferred to the Division of Water & Air Quality. The employees will be suspended with pay, effective immediately, pending further investigation."

How have you cooperated with the investigation? Name one way. Who did you speak to and what did you say? And it is very interesting that Scott Tyree was allowed to transfer out of the jail while whistleblower John Vest was put on the street. The taxpayers of Lexington will be paying the upcoming civil judgement to Mr. Vest (who never got the benefit of an investigation) for years to come and you could have avoided the whole thing. "Aware?" Care to rephrase that, Mayor Newberry?