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Two Daggett County jail guards fired, jail commander resigns as authorities investigate misconduct allegations

Published April 20, 2017 10:06 pm

Daggett County • Misconduct by staff alleged; inmates transferred to state prison.
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Two Daggett County corrections officers have been fired and the jail commander has resigned in the midst of an investigation into alleged misconduct by staff members.

A news release issued Wednesday by the Daggett County Sheriff's Office said the probe is ongoing, adding "there will not be any information released on the allegations at this time."

The Utah Department of Corrections moved three state inmates out of the jail on Feb. 3 and then 80 more on Feb. 17, soon after Daggett County Sheriff Jerry Jorgensen learned about "inappropriate behavior" by employees, according to earlier news releases from the DOC and the sheriff's office.

DOC spokeswoman Maria Peterson declined to comment Wednesday except to say the investigation is still open and the matter is under review by the Utah Attorney General's Office.

The inmates — who were being housed under a contract between the county and the Corrections Department — were transferred to the state prison, which had room for them because a recent decline in prisoner population there, the DOC said.

Susie Potter, a spokeswoman for the Daggett County Sheriff's Office, said in February that the allegations do not involve drugs or sex — which are common problems in jails — and that "we don't believe the inmates were ever in some kind of danger."

Sheriff's and DOC officials met April 11 to discuss findings in the investigation and the two officers, who had been put on leave in February, were fired as a result of the initial report, Wednesday's news release says.

Daggett County sits out on the state lines with Wyoming and Colorado and has a population of 1,127, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The situation has had a financial impact on the county, which is paid a daily rate to house each prisoner.

According to Department of Corrections records, Daggett County was paid about $1.35 million for inmate housing services in fiscal 2016. That money accounted for nearly 30 percent of the county's revenue.


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC




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