4OYS probe leads to Corrections Dept investigation

Posted at: 02/14/2013 9:21 PM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 10:12 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB 4 On Your Side

Photos obtained exclusively by KOB 4 On Your Side show a New Mexico State Penitentiary guard asleep on the job in an area where dangerous felons are housed. 

“At that moment when that photo was taken, we weren't serving public safety the way we should have," said Department of Corrections Cabinet Secretary Gregg Marcantel.

The guard is shown sleeping on a glass floor used to monitor inmate foot traffic below. 

Another photo obtained by KOB 4 On Your Side shows a movie playing in central command on the one monitor essential for security. A guard can control the pod’s security features and cameras using the monitor. 

On Wednesday, 4 On Your Side handed the photos over to Secretary Marcantel. He said he immediately launched a massive internal investigation at the State Penitentiary. 

"Unannounced we took a team in there,” Marcantel said. “No one knew we were coming and basically we searched ourselves. And we did that because what you gave us provided us an opportunity to realize that we may have a problem."

Marcantel said he and top directors found items that on the guards that violate policy such as cell phones, a television, cooking equipment, a radio and DVDs. Marcantel said it’s likely the guards responsible will be disciplined, but he’s more concerned about the level of supervision over the guards. 

"We're going to be looking at our leadership on that.  We want to know where were the supervisors? Where was my command staff?" Marcantel said. 

 

The investigation at the Department of Correction will continue.  Secretary Marcantel said random checks of his employees will become more frequent.