The V.I. Bureau of Corrections has placed seven of 13 corrections officers involved in a St. Thomas job action earlier this week on administrative leave, pending the outcome of administrative hearings, the BOC said in a statement Friday.
"No one was dismissed," BOC Public Information Officer Juel Anderson said when reached by phone at her office Friday.
Earlier in the week, BOC Director Julius Wilson issued a statement saying a dozen corrections officers assigned to the Criminal Justice Complex on St. Thomas walked off their posts Monday morning, disrupting operations of the facility.
Wilson criticized the action, saying corrections officers are required to man posts.
“The officers refused direct orders from a supervisor, which jeopardized the safety and security of the facility. Warden Gilbert David sent the officers who refused to take a post out of the institution," Wilson said, adding it was a disciplinary matter.
In Friday’s statement, the BOC said press reports that the officers were dismissed are mistaken. St. Thomas Warden Gilbert David, who oversees both the Criminal Justice Complex and the Alva A. Swan Annex, said in the statement that the six officers not placed on leave will receive written reprimands that will be placed in their personnel files. The six officers have since returned to their duties.
“Each of the 13 officers were granted an administrative meeting, which served as an investigative/fact finding mission regarding the actions that were taken on November 19," David said. “At this point we continue to review the facts of the investigation and once completed and sufficient evidence found, the agency will move to formally charge the seven officers.”
Meanwhile, staffing is short, but CJC operations continue without major problems, according to David.
“We have returned to a basically normal schedule at the facility. While inmate movement is still limited, they are receiving regular visitations as well as all medical related appointments. To offset the shortfall and maintain maximum coverage we asked LESU Supervisors to give up their days off, which some graciously have and we, as in BOC Leadership [Warden Assistant Warden and the Chief], have also committed to additional hours toward ensuring the necessary coverage of the facility in line with all standard security guidelines,” David said.