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: 1
- Talk of 'wings on pigs' threats on police tests U.S. speech rights - 0
- Brentwood police look to increase coverage after officer's death in May - 4
- Londonderry schools placed on lockdown after soldier's unplanned visit to high school causes alarm - 39
- Police investigate report of shots fired - 0
- Manchester blaze that left dozens homeless was accidental - 0
- Milford woman injured in Bedford crash - 0
- Park on any side of the street in Manchester during Christmas week - 0
- NYC mayor wants protests on hold after police deaths - 0
- Mother of two says she's lucky, even though condo destroyed in blaze - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Two Manchester women arrested in separate shoplifting incidents in Hooksett - 1
- Maine police search car belonging to husband of Londonderry shooting victim - 0
- Man arrested after chase, threatening to shoot police in Bow - 0
- Good Samaritan pins Manchester purse snatcher - 0
- Homeless man who saved woman from river: 'I don't consider myself a hero' - 9
- High School Basketball: Rivalries renewed in QCIBT - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Will they get everything on their list? - 0
- Tuohy brothers add new restaurant in familiar spot - 0
- New Horizons volunteers deliver groceries and good cheer, making Christmas special - 0
Londonderry schools placed on lockdown after soldier's unplanned visit to high school causes alarm
Police say woman tried to steal 15 iPads