UPDATE: Commissioners Decide One Case on Jail Funds in Washington County
Washington County Jail Clerk Sgt. Karina Richardson has been let go from her position at the jail.That decision was made by the Washington County Commissioners met on Thursday to discuss the misuse of inmate funds at the county jail.Jail Administrator, Capt. Robert Gross and Richardson have been suspended for items they bought using the Inmate Benefit Account.According to a report released by the county’s lawyer, Peter Marchesi, nearly $7,300 from the Inmate fund was used to buy items including DVDs, books, and cellphones.The Maine Department of Corrections Standards state the Inmate account should directly benefit inmates and not be used for other jail expenses. Marchesi said he does not believe any of the purchases benefited the inmates directly and should not have been paid for using the inmate fund. Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said Capt. Gross should be fired because he let Sgt. Richardson and himself abuse the funds. But Gross said the sheriff told him to buy his cellphone, knowing the money came from the inmate account. Gross also said Smith approved Richardson’s clothing budget of $400.When Richardson testified, she said all of the clothes she purchased, she wore to work. As for five bra purchases she said she was not reimbursed for those items or jewelry. The Commission decided to postpone the decision on Capt. Gross’ position until January 24th at 4:00 pm. The commissioners said there will be no criminal charges announced during these hearings. That will be in the hands of the Attorney General’s office after the county completes the hearings.