RALEIGH — Six officers at the Wake County detention center have resigned or been fired amid accusations that they fraternized with inmates, including one lieutenant said to have given preferential treatment to Amanda Hayes, the woman convicted last month of second-degree murder in a high-profile trial.
During the Amanda Hayes trial, we received information indicating that a member of our detention staff may have been showing Mrs. Hayes favoritism, said Capt. Jimmy Stevens, a spokesman for the Wake County Sheriffs Office, which runs the jail.
The sheriffs office began an internal investigation into the accusations. Lt. Linda Hicks resigned on March 3, and the investigation into her case was discontinued, Stevens said. She was employed by the sheriffs office for nearly 17 years.
The inquiry also widened to include several other employees.
During the course of that investigation, it was discovered that other detention officers might be fraternizing with inmates unrelated to the Hayes situation, Stevens said, reading from a prepared statement.
The sheriffs office subsequently fired five other detention officers on March 7 for unbecoming conduct, he said.
According to Stevens, they were: Shaniqua Robinson, an employee since May 2012; Sheree Bates, hired November 2013; Lauryn Whittler, hired October 2013; Annette James, hired April 2006; and Sheila Banks, hired April 2011.
Stevens declined to comment on how the officers suspected interactions with inmates would have broken the departments rules, saying it was not public record. The sheriffs office does not suspect any criminal violations by any of the officers involved, Stevens wrote in an email.