January 18, 2013

Maine jail worker fired over misuse of inmate funds

The Associated Press

MACHIAS — Washington County commissioners have fired a county jail employee as part of a probe into the alleged misuse of funds from an inmate benefit account.

WABI-TV reports Sgt. Karina Richardson was let go at a hearing Thursday.

According to a report prepared by a lawyer hired by Sheriff Donnie Smith, more than $7,000 from the Inmate Benefit Account was used to buy clothing, including women's bras, a cellphone, books and more.

Richardson and jail administrator Capt. Robert Gross were accused of misusing the funds. Both were suspended.

Richardson justified the clothing purchases, saying she wore them to work. She said she paid for the bras with her own money.

Both testified that Smith authorized all purchases made with the fund, an allegation that Smith denied.

Gross also faces termination.

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