Conspiracy, assault with injury, coverup: another Georgia prison guard pled guilty, all in response to a strike by prisoners for decent pay. And remember, private prisons have fewer guards per prisoner and less training.
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday Darren Douglass-Griffin pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of inmates and falsification of records in a federal investigation.
Douglass-Griffin admitted he and other correctional officers at Macon State Prison in Oglethorpe assaulted and injured inmates in a series of incidents in 2010. He told prosecutors correctional officers beat three inmates in separate incidents to punish them. One inmate was beaten so badly he had to be taken from the prison in an ambulance.
Douglass-Griffin also said he and other officers tried to cover up the officers’ involvement by writing false reports and lying to investigators.
After a 2 1/2-hour closed-door board meeting Wednesday, SPCA of Niagara
board president Bruno Scrufari III announced the request for the
probe, in the wake of charges by board member Kathy Paradowski, former
veterinary technician Kari E. McAlee-Miller and others that animals were
unnecessarily euthanized and that injured animals brought to the shelter
were left untreated.
There are a few differences from the local situation here.
Barbara Carr, executive director of the SPCA Serving Erie County,
said her board of directors, which meets today, would have to
approve the investigation, but she doesn’t expect any difficulty in
There will be at least one key condition: “I wouldn’t do an
investigation unless the document we produced was made public,” Carr
The relevant local authorities welcome an investigation and
insist on making the results public.
From: SUSAN LEAVENS
Sent: Tue, July 26, 2011 2:31:16 PM
Subject: Your attention would be grateful in regaurds to the Lowndes
County Animal Shelter
To the Honorable Agriculture Commissioner Mr. Gary
July 26, 2011
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Susan Leavens I currently
live in Quitman Georgia and I am an employee with Lowndes County,
formally as an animal control officer with Lowndes County Animal
Services. In June of last year I turned in three statements to Pat
Smith who is no longer with the animal protection division she is
currently running the Thomasville Animal Control. After speaking with
Ms. Pat an advising her of the situations that have occurred and are
currently occurring in the Lowndes County Shelter; she advised me to
have statements written by individuals that were willing and not afraid
of retaliation. Two current employees myself and Ronnie Ganas wrote
statements, one previously employee Amanda Jordan. The issues were
heard before Vinessa Sim-Green and several other animal protection
employees along with Ms Cora Potter. An administration hearing took
place an several “options” were offered to the Lowndes County
Manager Joe Prichard. These were things that would help the shelter run
more efficiently and perhaps come up to date with the Georgia Dept. of
Ag. standards; but the issues of animal cruelty, inhumane treatment and
practicing veterinarian medicine (surgery by castration of a 2 young
adult pot belly pigs). My concern is that the director was never
charged in any criminal court of law for her actions regarding the
animals at the shelter.
In this PDF of a statement of 5 May 2010 from
Amanda Jordan, she alleges inappropriate use of euthanasia,
improper boarding of horses, improper castration of a pig,
and resulting physical injury to an employee.
She asks for:
“I feel that some detailed financial, paperwork, and computer investigation
should be conducted within the Lowndes County Animal Services office.
Taxpayer’s dollars are spent to keep these animals of Lowndes County safe,
and I’m sure if the citizens of Lowndes County were aware of some of these
things they may be very hurt and disgusted with the Board of Commissioners for
not making sure the right measures are being taken to do what is right for this office.”
Here is a transcription. -jsq
My Name is Amanda Jordan. From June 2005 to December 2007, I worked for the
Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Office with the Animal Services Division.
Linda Patelski was the director and my direct supervisor during that time.
I enjoyed my job as a shelter attendant dearly.
It was such a pleaser to see animals get adopted to new homes
or returned to their owners if they were picked up by Animal Control officers.
As rewarding as it was, I also had other jobs that were not
Euthinizing animals were sometimes heartbreaking.
While some animals were injured, sick, or feral, others were perfectly
healthy and just needed a home.
Due to the lack of space in the facility they had to be euthanized.
I recall a full term pregnant female dog came into the office.
Normally, this would be a reason to put a dog down due to the
inability of space to house a mother dog and her puppies.
Because this particular mother dog was some sort of small breed
and her puppies expected to be small breed Linda Patelski
(the director) decided we must keep these puppies for adoption.
Even with the risk of diseases they were saved for the adoption room
as other healthy dogs were put to sleep to accompany the space
for the puppies.
The shelter also has