Former prison worker charged with theft

A former fiscal analyst at the McNeil Island Corrections Center has been charged with theft and forgery in Pierce County Superior Court.

Colleen Brixey, 48, is accused of taking money from a fund used to improve the lives of the prison’s inmates.

She pleaded not guilty Friday to three counts of each offense. Bail was set at $5,000. Brixey was still in custody Friday evening at the Pierce County Jail, though her attorney expected her release. Her trial is set to begin Oct. 23.

Charging documents allege that Brixey forged signatures on 36 checks worth a total of $103,000. The checks were written to her husband and deposited into the couple’s bank account over a two-year period, the documents say.

Workers at the McNeil Island business office discovered the financial losses in November 2007, the charging papers say. Also according to the documents:

A bank representative called the office to verify a $5,000 check written to Brixey’s husband. The signature on the check appeared to come from another worker in the office. When asked, the worker said he knew nothing about the check and asked for a faxed copy. Seeing the signature, he said it wasn’t his.

An internal audit followed that discovery, according to the charging papers and previous public statements by the state Department of Corrections. Auditors said they eventually found a folder in Brixey’s office that included bank statements from the corrections center, business checks marked “void,” and two of Brixey’s personal bank statements.

Brixey had worked for McNeil Island since August 2000, the court records said. She handled banking tasks and other financial duties. She was fired Feb. 22 after an internal investigation.

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies said an additional investigation revealed multiple ATM withdrawals from Brixey’s account at the Red Wind Casino near Yelm.


Former Kenton Co. Jail Guard Avoids Jail Time

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former Kenton County jail guard will not have to spend time in jail
after pleading guilty to impersonating an officer, unlawful
imprisonment and terroristic threatening.

A judge ordered Melanie Murray to complete a three-year felony diversion program and pay a $250 fine.

say Murray had just started working at the jail, but had not finished
training, when she handcuffed a man inside the Strauss Haus Bar on Main
Street in Covington April 6.

Officers say she took the man
outside into an alley, then started vomiting. While she was getting
sick, the victim found the handcuff key and freed himself. He then
called police, who found her passed out in the alley.

Police say
when paramedics arrived, Murray became combative and belligerent. Then
once under arrest, officers say she threatened to kill them.

Because of her plea, she is longer allowed to work in law enforcement.


Former DOC officer: ER shooting could’ve been prevented

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A woman is on
life support after police say she grabbed a gun from a Department of
Corrections officer at Palmetto Health Richland and shot herself.

efforts to learn more about what happened inside the hospital did not
go to far. Both the hospital and the department of corrections are not
releasing many details.

WIS was able to talk to a former corrections department employee who said the shooting could have been prevented.

Police say a patient at Palmetto Health Richland grabbed a gun from a corrections officer, Tradena Raynor.

Before anyone could react, the patient shot herself in the head.

The sequence of events left the woman on life support and Craig Baxley in disbelief.

“It was a major breakdown, it should’ve never happened,” says Baxley.

Baxley is a former major with the Department of Corrections, now retired.

couldn’t believe it was a DOC officer at the hospital with an inmate
Tuesday who police say had the gun ripped right from her holster
moments before the shot was fired.

“If the training was there and the weapon was in the right holster, it would’ve never have happened,” says Baxley.

is not really offering any explanation at this point, other than saying
it’s meeting with hospital officials to review policy.

Whatever that policy is, Baxley says it isn’t what he remembers.

Doc tells WIS Officer Raynor did five weeks of basic training and is certified to carry a firearm and transport inmates.

spokesman Josh Gelinas told us Raynor was carrying a “Level I” holster,
as opposed to the newer, more secure “Level II” holsters.

it may not have changed this outcome, as a result of this incident we
are evaluating our use of Level I security holsters,” said Gelinas.
“Also today, Palmetto Health agreed to create a separate waiting area
for our inmates.”

“While no policy can protect against every possibility, we will continue to review our policies and procedures,” Gelinas said.

For the record, Craig Baxley is correctly suing State Prison Director Jon Ozmint on unrelated accusations.


Corrections Officer Arrested


VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – A southern Indiana community corrections officer winds up on the wrong side of the law.

Police in Vincennes charged Beatrice Joyce, 39, with residential entry.

Joyce was working as a home detention officer with Wabash Valley Community Corrections in Vincennes at the time of her arrest.

Indiana State Police say they caught her breaking into a co-worker’s home.

“We had several troopers that had been conducting a surveillance operation at that residence for several days,” said Indiana State Police Sergeant Todd Ringle, “Around 10:45 Friday morning she arrived in her vehicle. She went into the residence. She was in the residence a short period of time. She did not take anything, but when she left the residence, that’s when she was arrested.”

Joyce is now free on $6,500 bond.

Wabash Valley Community Corrections officials say she has been suspended from her job without pay pending the outcome of her case.

State Police say the investigation is continuing.


Corrections worker accused of romance with an inmate

A 57-year-old woman who had worked as an education coordinator for the state Department of Corrections pleaded not guilty Monday to one count of first-degree official misconduct following an investigation into her alleged relationship with an inmate.

Sharon Lee Simovic was arrested on a warrant Friday and arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Monday.

Findings of an investigation allege that Simovic, who had worked under contract with the state at the Columbia River Correctional Institution, became involved with an inmate, Joshua Dennison, 32, who had served as her clerk in the prison. Simovic helped inmates put together a course plan towards obtaining their high school graduate equivalency diplomas.

Investigators said they found love letters Simovic wrote to Dennison. An indictment accuses Simovic of using her official position from Jan. 1, 2007, through Oct. 19, 2007, to obtain a benefit: “The love and affection” of Dennison. Simovic no longer works for the state.

A trial is scheduled for Sept. 23.


2 jailers indicted in drug smuggling probe

Two Shelby County deputy jailers are among a dozen people charged with conspiring to smuggle marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax into the Shelby County Jail.

Four prisoners and six outsiders are also charged.

Federal indictments filed this week allege the deputy jailers — 26-year-old Darryl Brandon Taylor and 34-year-old Tiar Shabazz — were involved in the drug operation in the jail between February and July.

Taylor, who was hired in October, resigned on April 17. Shabazz, who was hired in August 2001, is on paid leave.

The case was investigated by the Tarnished Blue Task Force that includes the FBI, the sheriff’s office and the Memphis Police Department.


Floyd County corrections officer admitted having sex with inmate

A  former Floyd County Corrections Officer admitted to having sex with an inmate and even going to his mother’s house to get pills for him, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the Superior Court Wednesday.

Michelle A. Hurst, 39, of Borden, told detectives that she had sexual intercourse with an inmate, 31-year-old Craig Proctor, on at least two occasions in July. She also gave Proctor oral sex two other times, she told police.

From June 12 to June 23, Proctor made 40 calls to Hurst’s cell phone. In the phone calls which were taped, Hurst discussed how she was going to bring tobacco products and a cell phone delivered to him in his jail cell.

Hurst also said she went to Proctor’s mother’s house three times and had his mother give her pills to take to give Proctor, according to the affidavit. She brought him two loratabs and three other pills, she said.

On another occasion, she brought him Makers Mark and Wild Turkey whiskey and an MP3 player.

Hurst was employed by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department from April 5 until July 21, 2008. Sheriff Darrell Mills said she was still on probationary status, and he was able to fire her immediately after hearing of allegations.

Detectives officially began investigating Aug. 4, according to the affidavit.

Mills said that he monitors his employees closely and does not tolerate anything unprofessional.

“This shows that the system is working,” Mills said.

Hurst was charged with sexual misconduct by a service provider and trafficking with an inmate, both class C felonies. She was also charged with trafficking with an inmate, as a class A misdemeanor.

A class C felony is punishable by two to eight years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Hurst’s next court appearance is scheduled for Monday. Bond was set at $50,000.