AP reports that in Montague County, the brand spanking new Sheriff's first official act was to move out all the inmates and close down the county jail in the wake of an FBI raid and apparent, rampant misconduct under his predecessor:
A jail in northern Texas has been closed and its nearly 60 inmates transferred as authorities investigate what they call dangerous conditions for jailers and those behind bars — including cells that locked from the inside or contained recliners. Five inmates had already been moved from the Montague County jail to one in a nearby county this month after an FBI raid, said Jack McGaughey, district attorney for Montague, Clay and Archer counties.Recliners?! Surely that requires ongoing complicity by virtually everybody at the jail - from the folks checking the entrances to all the guards and supervisors. That's not an item like a cell phone that's getting hidden when the guards walk by.
McGaughey declined to say what prompted the investigation, also being conducted by the Texas Rangers. But he said authorities found contraband in the jail. New Sheriff Paul Cunningham moved the inmates to the Wise County jail on Thursday a few hours after he was sworn in.
McGaughey said some surveillance cameras' cords had been disconnected; recliners were in cells; some bathrooms and cells could be locked from the inside; and inmates had made partitions out of paper towels to block jailers' views inside their cells. One alarming discovery was a type of rack made of nails, he said. ...
Some inmates had apparently used extension cords to lock deputies out, and unidentified pills were strewn about other jail cells, Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA reported.
One wonders how long this has been going on and why the Texas Commission on Jail Standards inspectors didn't catch it.
One also wonders precisely what inmates were doing, and for whom, in return for these kinds of extras? Clearly, the FBI is wondering the same thing.
MORE: From the Bowie News.