MD prison system terminates, suspends employees in wake of investigation

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services—which is responsible for managing the state’s prison system—made headlines last month when three of its high-level officials were removed from office on allegations of misconduct.

The removals were based on two separate instances of alleged misconduct. In one case, the director of the department’s Investigation, Intelligence and Fugitive Apprehension unit was fired. Though the director wasn’t informed about the basis of the firing, another department official who was fired was questioned about alleged sexual misconduct.

Both have denied the allegations and have called the investigations a “witch hunt” connected to their work exposing a smuggling conspiracy in Somerset County and a push-back against Governor Hogan’s charge that department heads work to root out corruption. The third official who was fired reportedly played a minor role in the Somerset County investigation.

As one of the terminated officials pointed out, the firings and the suspensions of various other employees in the department will harm the department’s ability to do its job addressing corruption. It isn’t clear in this case if it is sexual misconduct that is at issue, or some other activity that could result in charges of public corruption. As of now, no charges have been filed in connection with the alleged misconduct.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at what it would take for a public official to be charged with public corruption, and why it is critical to work with an experienced defense attorney when facing such charges.


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