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Crews fires warden at Dade Correctional saying it should 'send a message'

In a scathing rebuke to the leadership at the Dade Correctional Institution, Florida's prisons chief on Thursday fired the warden at the embattled prison and announced he wanted to "send a message" through the system.

Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews announced that he had terminated Warden Cummings, whom he had suspended last week, and replaced him with Warden Les Odom, Assistant Warden Jose Lugo and Colonel Victor Barber.

The prison had been under fire for weeks since the Miami Herald first reported on the suspicious scalding death of inmate Darren Rainey which prision officials were still investigating after two years. 

“I have not been satisfied with the information flow from Dade C.I. and we need leaders there who will act with urgency to protect the safety of the inmates and staff, and hold individuals accountable when needed,'' Crews said in a statement. "This change will send a message throughout the Department that service is a privilege and leaders must meet the fullest extent of their duty to Florida."

He also slapped the Miami Dade Police for its lengthy delay in the Rainey investigation. 

“Today I am also asking Miami-Dade to complete their investigation immediately,'' Crews said. "This investigation has taken too long and it is time to get the facts so we can take any additional action that may be necessary.”  

Here's the DOC statement: 

Today, Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews announced the new leadership team at Dade Correctional Institution, including a new Warden, Assistant Warden and Colonel. Last week Secretary Crews traveled to Dade C.I. to meet with corrections staff to underscore his commitment to accountability, and he determined an overhaul in leadership was necessary to help restore the integrity of operations at Dade C.I. 

Secretary Crews said, “I have not been satisfied with the information flow from Dade C.I. and we need leaders there who will act with urgency to protect the safety of the inmates and staff, and hold individuals accountable when needed. This change will send a message throughout the Department that service is a privilege and leaders must meet the fullest extent of their duty to Florida. That’s why today we have terminated Warden Cummings and appointed Warden Les Odom, Assistant Warden Jose Lugo and Colonel Victor Barber for these important leadership positions and I have every confidence they will rise to the challenge.” 

Following his visit, Secretary Crews learned that an in-custody death of an inmate had taken place prior to his arrival at Dade.  While the initial reports indicate the inmate died of natural causes, Secretary Crews believes he should have had a more detailed briefing on the issue.

As the Department has continued to dig into the happenings at Dade C.I., yet another fact has come to light: two of the corrections officers who were on duty the night of inmate Rainey’s death have resigned from the Department.  Officer Cornelius Thompson resigned from the agency in June of last year.  The other officer, Roland Clarke, submitted his letter of resignation on July 2nd of this year.

Secretary Crews said, “I received this information following my visit.  I know last week I publicly said both officers were on the payroll, and one was not. The leadership changes I’ve made at Dade C.I. will ensure the information flow is accurate and timely.”

While in Miami last week, Secretary Crews also had a productive meeting with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s investigative unit, who assured him the ongoing Rainey case was nearing an end.

Secretary Crews said, “Today I am also asking Miami-Dade to complete their investigation immediately.   This investigation has taken too long and it is time to get the facts so we can take any additional action that may be necessary.”           

 

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ron brown

now how about charging the guards with murder

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