Deputies Accused Of Harassment

An internal investigation has found the four made work unbearable for subordinates at the Jackson Pike jail

Closed door hearings could begin as early as next week for four Franklin County deputies at the Jackson Pike jail who are accused of harassment.

An an internal investigation accuses them of sexually harassing female deputies and demeaning new recruits by making them act out nursery rhymes like I’m a Little Teapot and Ring Around the Rosie.

“I’m very upset about it,” Sheriff Jim Karnes said of the offenses which are grounds for suspension or dismissal. “This is a ridiculous event that took place.”

Investigators learned that Jeffrey Gunn, 38, the highest ranking officer, took pictures of his genitals with his cell phone at the jail and sent them to his wife. He’s been demoted from lieutenant to sergeant.

Sgt. Mathew Worthington, 35, was suspended with pay last month after investigators say he intimidated subordinates who were bringing accusations against him.
Worthington has admitted to most of the wrongdoing, including daily insults against females subordinates. He had consensual sex with one of them.

Karnes said the four will face charges as early as next week.

“We intend to follow this through and we’ll take the appropriate action needed that we will not tolerate with type of activity,” Karnes said.

Surveilllance video ( a must watch)


Surveillance video shows B.C. prison guard helping inmate escape

VANCOUVER (CBC) – A sentencing hearing for a former B.C. prison guard who helped an inmate escape has been held over until August.

A sentencing hearing for a former B.C. prison guard who helped an inmate escape has been held over until August.

Edwin Ticne, 35, pleaded guilty in April to charges of obstruction of justice and accepting a bride. He helped Omid Tahvili walk out of the maximum-security North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam on Nov. 15, 2007.

 On Wednesday, the Crown asked for a prison term of up to 10 years for Ticne, who was a corrections officer for more than a decade.

 A surveillance video released by B.C. Corrections showed Tahvili, who was wearing a janitor’s uniform, following Ticne as they pass through four security-controlled doors.

 At the time of his escape, Tahvili was awaiting a sentencing hearing after being convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, uttering threats and causing bodily harm for which he was eventually sentenced to 11 years in prison.

 Police allege that Tahvili has gang ties in the Lower Mainland.



A B.C. prison guard who helped a high-profile convict escape was sentenced to three years and three months in jail Friday afternoon.

Edwin Ticne, 35, pleaded guilty in April to obstruction of justice and accepting a bribe in connection with Omid Tahvilli’s escape from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam last November.

Before he was sentenced on Friday, Ticne apologized for helping Tahvilli dress up as a janitor and walk out the front door of the high-security prison.

Surveillance video from the night of the escape showed Ticne leading Tahvilli, an alleged Iranian-Canadian gang leader, through four security gates to freedom.

At the sentencing hearing Friday, Ticne, dressed in a black suit, looked solemn as he waved goodbye to a small group of family and friends in the New Westminster courtroom.

After Judge Peter Leask sentenced Ticne, he acknowledged the time in prison will be hard for the former B.C. corrections officer, and wished him good luck.

The judge said he took into account a psychiatrist’s report that Ticne was in the midst of a major depressive episode at the time of the escape.

The psychiatrist said Ticne was a pathological gambler who had problems with alcohol and suffered stress from work and his family.

The judge also said he believed Ticne did not receive the money Tahvilli had promised.

Crown asked for 5 to 10 years

But Leask also read from a victim impact statement that stated many guards at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre felt angry and betrayed by the escape.

Reg Harris, Ticne’s lawyer, had asked for a sentence of two to three years, arguing Tahvilli was a sophisticated manipulator who exploited a weakness in his client.

Crown council had asked for a sentence of five to 10 years.

Before the sentencing hearing began, the judge was told that Tahvilli had contacted police this week, saying he is in Toronto and would like to negotiate a return to B.C.

At the time of his escape, Tahvilli was awaiting sentencing after being convicted of kidnapping, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, uttering threats and causing bodily harm. He was eventually sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The escape was the first in the history of the prison, which first opened in 2001. Earlier this week, a second prisoner escaped from the high-security prison by posing as another prisoner, who was due to be released.


Rockland sheriff’s correction officer faces harassment charge

A Rockland County Sheriff’s Department correction officer has surrendered her weapons and is due in court this morning in connection with a harassment charge against her.

An order of protection was issued against Diedre Russell on Sunday after a woman told Ramapo police that a woman threatened her on the track at Ramapo High School about 9:40 a.m. that day, Capt. Thomas Cokeley of the Ramapo police said yesterday.

The order, issued in Ramapo Town Court on Sunday by Justice Rhoda Schoenberger, says Russell must stay away from the woman and her daughter.

Russell is due in Town Court at 9 a.m. today to answer a charge of harassment, a violation.

Cokeley said the alleged threat came about as a result of a dispute with the woman.

The track is open to the public, Cokeley said, adding he could not reveal the substance of the alleged threat, or specifics about the dispute leading up to it.

When police arrived at the track on Sunday, Russell had left.

“We made attempts to reach her, and eventually she turned herself in later that afternoon,” he said.

Russell surrendered her weapons to the police, as is procedure when an order of protection is issued, and was given an appearance ticket for the harassment charge, Cokeley added.

Russell remains on normal duty at the jail.

She declined to speak with a reporter who sought comment yesterday evening, but jail officials said she has had an exemplary career.

“Diedre Russell comes highly recommended by our staff over in the corrections division as an outstanding officer, and we’re going to stand waiting until the final reports are in from the Ramapo police, and it’s our hope she will be exonerated from any charge against her,” James Kralik, Rockland County’s sheriff, said yesterday.

Russell has been a correction officer with the department for eight years.

Her performance record is clean, said Undersheriff Thomas Guthrie, who declined to comment upon the allegation.

Brian Costello, the president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association of Rockland County, said he thought the charge was without merit.

“She’s an exemplary officer. She’s been recently commended by the administration for preventing a possible suicide. She’s a Desert Storm veteran, spent eight years in the United States Army, and she came out with an honorable discharge and had an unblemished record,” he said.

Russell is a “highly respected and outstanding officer in the jail system and everybody likes her,” Costello added.