Twelve prison workers and executives have been put on administrative leave in a transition to a new leadership team following the June 6 escape of convicts Richard Matt and David Sweat from the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.
The three executives put on leave from the facility include Superintendent Steven Racette, First Deputy Superintendent Donald Quinn, and Deputy Superintendent for Security Stephen Brown, according to The Wall Street Journal
. The new overseer for the prison in the interim will be James O’Gorman, an assistant commissioner for correctional facilities.
The leadership transitions are occurring as a public corruption investigation examines Matt and Sweat’s Hollywood script-worthy escape that involved using hacksaw blades, chisels, and other tools to saw through the cell wall and pipes before smashing through a 2-foot-thick brick wall, wriggling through pipes, and emerging from a manhole outside the prison, according to Fox News
. The FBI is also launching its own investigation into allegations of drug-trafficking and other criminal activities within the prison walls.
“We started asking questions and people started talking,” one official told NBC News
. “Next thing you know we started developing leads.”
The investigation is specifically looking into whether Matt and Sweat used money from heroin sales to fund their prison break and enlist help within the prison, according to NBC News.
Prison worker Joyce Mitchell has been charged with aiding the convicts in their escape by smuggling the tools to them via raw hamburger meat. Prison guard Gene Palmer has also been suspended after he was charged with delivering the meat and tools to the convicts in exchange for some pieces of Matt’s artwork, although his attorney claims that Palmer had no previous knowledge of the escape plot, according to Fox News.
The manhunt ended when Matt was shot and killed on Friday by a law enforcement officer. Sweat was shot and captured on Sunday. He is currently in custody at the Albany Medical Center and, as of Tuesday, his condition has been upgraded from “serious” to “fair,” according to NBC News.
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