Prison guard facing charges fired

A Fayette County prison guard accused of smuggling contraband into the jail in exchange for $75 was fired Wednesday from the job he had worked for 21 years.

The prison board voted unanimously to terminate Tim Hamborsky, 48, of 732 N. Belleview Road, Connellsville, from his position as a corrections officer at the county jail.

Hamborsky lost his job one week after he allegedly was caught on tape smuggling narcotics and tobacco into the Fayette County Prison. He was charged last week by the Fayette County Drug Task Force with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and bringing contraband into a prison.

The charges were the result of a sting operation carried out just feet from the prison entrance on Court Street — and within view of District Attorney Nancy Vernon’s office in the adjacent courthouse.

Vernon yesterday said she and officers from the task force videotaped Hamborsky from her office window as the guard retrieved the narcotics from a hiding place under newspaper vending machines. The machines are located directly under Vernon’s window in the courthouse.

“I said to myself, ‘I can’t believe he’s doing this,'” Vernon said, shortly after she and other members of the prison board approved Hamborsky’s dismissal.

Warden Larry Medlock recommended the termination on the grounds Hamborsky committed an act unbecoming a corrections officer by bringing contraband into the prison and had the intent to deliver an item to an inmate without the warden’s approval.

The termination took effect immediately.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the charges, a police informant asked Hamborsky to take four Vicodin tablets and tobacco into the prison. In exchange, Hamborsky was to receive $75.

Vernon said Hamborsky went to the newspaper boxes at 11:30 p.m. Nov. 5, then entered the prison to begin his shift. He was greeted by Medlock and Detective Thomas O’Barto of the drug task force. O’Barto found the tablets, tobacco and money in Hamborsky’s sleeve, according to the criminal complaint.

In addition to his job, Hamborsky risks losing his retirement benefits if convicted. According to a county employee handbook, the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act provides for loss of benefits for anyone who is convicted of a crime related to their employment.

Vernon said Hamborsky could face jail time if convicted of the felony offenses. She said any plea bargain she offers will call for a prison sentence.

Hamborsky faces a preliminary hearing 9:45 a.m. Nov. 25 at the Uniontown office of former District Judge Mark Blair. He is free on $25,000 unsecured bond.

source http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/news/fayette/s_598206.html

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