Correction Officer Placed on Leave at Dannemora Prison

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Late Friday evening, Linda Foglia of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision press office issued a terse two sentence statement to reporters in an email:

A correction officer was placed on administrative leave this evening as part of the ongoing investigation into the escape at Clinton Correctional Facility. Due to the ongoing investigation, additional information is not available at this time.

The startling news comes two weeks after convicted killers Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 35, broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. In a bold escape, they cut through the walls of their cells, broke down a brick wall, cut through steel steam pipes, and crawled to freedom through a padlocked manhole they also cut through.

One week ago, Joyce Mitchell, a 51-year-old civilian worker at the prison was arrested on charges that she helped the prisoners escape by smuggling screwdrivers, drill bits, and hacksaw blades to them. Mitchell, who was a supervisor in the tailor shop inside the prison where Matt worked, reportedly had an intimate personal relationship with both Sweat and Matt. Mitchell’s husband Lyle also works at the prison.

Joyce Mitchell is on unpaid administrative leave and remains incarcerated. Lyle Mitchell is on paid administrative leave. His attorney, Peter Dumas, says he will not face charges in the escape plot.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie has confirmed that Mitchell had discussed a plot with Matt and Sweat to murder her husband after they escaped. Mitchell had agreed to pick the two men up around midnight Friday June 5 when they escaped, but she backed out of the plan, and spent Friday night in a Malone, New York hospital instead.

Rumors have been swirling around Dannemora and Clinton County for days that others inside and outside the prison may have aided in the escape. Several sources told Breitbart News there was a rumor that one correction officer had been “missing in action” since the escape, but Breitbart News was unable to substantiate that rumor.

One source tells Breitbart News that when the full story of the escape is known, it will be a blockbuster.

Another source, a retired correction officer who worked at the Clinton Correctional Facility for more than two decades, is skeptical of the announcement of the correction officer’s administrative leave.

“Here come the charges that someone was out of place or not where he should have been. I have the feeling that this could be a battle and a half brewing. If the Department of Corrections tries to find a goat in this it may be a corrections officer,” the retired correction officer says.

“They are trying to deflect the bad management of the escape by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the general total screw up they created,” the retired officer tells Breitbart News.

Given the improbable nature of the brazen escape, however, it is not hard to imagine that Sweat and Matt had help from more than just one person.


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