LOCK HAVEN - The Clinton County Prison Board took a small step to deal with a big safety and security concern Wednesday.
After several board members noted sheriff's deputies were not told about a potentially violent inmate's history, Prison Board Chairman Jeff Snyder suggested some steps might be necessary to see the situation didn't happen again.
Sheriff Chuck Ankney said it was only "by chance" that he recently learned his deputies were going to be transporting an inmate with "special concerns" to the Lock Haven Hospital, and warned them about the situation.
Much of the discussion was phrased in veiled terms, as Snyder struggled to outline the problem without identifying the individuals involved, including the inmate in question.
But as the discussion continued, it became clear the prisoner was an out-of-county inmate housed locally, not convicted but accused of a serious crime, and the word "murder" was used once to describe the situation, although details were not made clear.
There was one mention of "why is Sims here," possibly a reference to the Roderick Sims' murder trial in Union County, which is scheduled to get underway in late October, four years after he allegedly gunned down his estranged girlfriend in a borough apartment.
Jury selection is set to begin Oct. 22 and a two-week trial will follow, but nobody indicated whether the Union County defendant in question was actually Sims.
President Judge J. Michael Williamson said flatly the corrections officer who did not provide the information in question should "be fired."
Snyder said the deputy "didn't know ... had no idea why the inmate was here or if extra precautions were required."
Ankney said it should be a matter of policy that a report be issued for any inmate needing transportation who might have violent tendencies.
The board voted to issue just such a report for all inmates to anybody taking custody of a prisoner at the Clinton County Correctional Facility
Later, after the meeting, Warden Tom Duran said the prison holds a variety of inmates, some of them sentenced and some not, from local, state and federal jurisdictions, and each inmate generates a different series of reports, which are made available to transporters.
In other matters, the board approved a contract for laundry service with Susque-View Inc. at a cost of 35 cents per pound.
Judge Williamson said a recent audit report on the commissary accounts was "worthless" for determining if the appropriate steps were being taken or if proper procedure was being followed.