Excessive force case spurs firing

Staff writerMay 22, 2010 

— A correctional officer has been fired and two administrators reassigned at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner following an allegation of excessive force used against an inmate.

In a written statement issued Friday afternoon, Secretary Alvin Keller of the state Department of Correction said he was made awareearlier this week of the abuse allegation.

Polk is among the state's largest prisons and has units for both maximum security inmates and youthful offenders under the age of 21.

The correctional officer, whose name was not released, lost his job as part of an internal investigation, the statement said.

The administrator and the assistant superintendent for custody and operations at Polk have been reassigned, Keller said. Their names were not released. The prison's website lists Dennis Rowland as the administrator at Polk.

"Adherence to established policies and procedure is critical to operating safe and secure prisons, and I will not tolerate those who violate those procedures," Keller said in the statement. "Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken at the conclusion of this investigation, if warranted."

Pamela Walker, a spokeswoman for the department, said that the inmate involved was not hospitalized and that no criminal charges had been filed.

Walker said the agency would release no further information, such as the name of the inmate, the nature of the alleged assault or who reported it.

Randy Lee, the retired administrator of Caledonia Correctional Institution, will serve as the interim administrator at Polk, according to the written statement.

michael.biesecker@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4698

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