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.

sourceĀ  http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/08/corrections_worker_accused_of.html

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