Home » News » Public Safety
Carroll County captain says suspensions of corrections officers threaten safety
OSSIPEE - Carroll County Department of Corrections Capt. Michael Fowler says the county commissioners overstepped their authority and placed the DOC in jeopardy when they suspended three corrections officers charged with hosting an underage drinking party.
"The decision made by the Board of Commissioners has jeopardized the safety and security of the Carroll County Department of Corrections by leaving it understaffed without any recommendations on how to safety operate the facility," Fowler stated in his Nov. 20 written complaint, filed under the Whistleblower Protection Act.
Sgt. William Lewis, 26, of Conway, Officer Taylor Goddard, 21, of New Durham, and Michael Medina, 22, of Conway are charged with hosting an underage drinking party at Medina's home. The three were charged with prohibited sales of alcohol on Oct. 19, after an investigation by the Ossipee Police Department.
Commission Chair David Sorenson and Commissioner Dorothy Solomon met with County Attorney Thomas Dewhurst and Lt. Michael Santuccio of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office in an un-posted, non-public meeting after the Oct. 31 regular commission meeting, according to Fowler.
The vote to suspend the three officers came Nov. 2, when all three commissioners met in non-public session.
After the suspensions, "staff members have been forced to work 16 hours straight and report to work the following morning," Fowler said Tuesday.
Sorenson said it was the county attorney who recommended that the three be suspended pending the outcome of the case.
"It's our responsibility to manage the county," he said Tuesday, adding that whenever DOC Superintendent Jason Johnson recommends firing someone, he comes to the commission for approval.
Fowler's 14-page complaint package includes supporting documents and copies of state regulations governing county entities.
One such directive, in RSA Chapter 30-B for the DOC, states that no county commissioner shall be the superintendent of the county department. The DOC superintendant has the authority to manage all operations and administer and enforce the laws with which the department is charged.
In his complaint, Fowler asks the commission to admit wrongdoing and release the minutes of the Nov. 2 meeting.
- - - - - - - -
Larissa Mulkern may be reached at LMulkern@newstote.com.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Rochester 10-year-old, grandmother escape fire in home with no smoke detectors - 0
- Authorities say smoking ignited oxygen in Derry apartment building fire - 1
- Motorcyclist flown to Maine hospital following crash on Route 125 - 0
- Londonderry police to open station to residents - 0
- Affair, threats alleged in Weare police chief investigation - 9
- Cause of 3-alarm Derry fire remains under investigation - 0
- Claremont police warn public about suspicious soda bottles - 1
- Mechanical failure ruled out in fatal plane crash that claimed lives of two Kingston men - 0
- UPDATED: Cause of three-alarm Derry blaze under investigation - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Kuster, Shea-Porter split on vote to arm Syrian rebels - 0
- Man arrested in White Park stabbing in Concord - 0
- Two arrested, car and cash seized in SWAT raid, drug bust at South Mammoth Road home in Manchester - 0
- Dean Kamen is a genius inventor, and he's pretty good at oratory, too - 3
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: Modified tour is shortened - 0
- Patriots Notebook: Pats wary of veteran playmaker Woodson - 0
- College Football: Expect offense when Richmond, UNH meet - 0
- Young fighters' dreams on display tonight at Fight to Educate - 0
- Drew Cline: When Republicans turn off Republicans - 7
Two arrested, car and cash seized in SWAT raid, drug bust at South Mammoth Road home in Manchester
Keene man charged with assault on 2-year-old
Another View -- Bill Duncan: What did the NH Supreme Court really say about private school funding?
Every vote counts: Here is the proof
Casino gambles: Hopes dashed all over
Havenstein says Christie backing a 'boost'