January 17, 2013

Report: Washington County jail workers used inmate funds

The Associated Press

MACHIAS — A report shows that an account at the Washington County jail in Machias meant to benefit inmates was instead used to buy women's undergarments and other personal items for employees.

According to a report prepared by a lawyer hired by Sheriff Donnie Smith, more than $7,000 from the Inmate Benefit Account was also used in 2012 to buy computer equipment, books, clothing and more.

The account is meant to be used for purchases that benefit inmates, including telephone time and items from the commissary.

WABI-TV reports that one employee justified the purchases by saying she needed to dress properly for work, and her work benefited the inmates.

The county commissioners are scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the report.

Sheriff Smith says two employees have been suspended.

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