Hearings start on jail leave abuse |

Hearings start on jail leave abuse

State officials will hold disciplinary hearings for 14 corrections supervisors accused of abusing leave time at a prison in Mercer County, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections said Tuesday.

The hearings begin today and will continue through Friday in Mercer and at correctional institutions in Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Greene County, according to Susan McNaughton.

The allegations involve 13 supervisors at Mercer and one who previously worked there and transferred to the Pittsburgh prison at Woods Run, she said.

Officials are expected to send the findings to corrections headquarters in Harrisburg for review within two weeks, McNaughton said.

The supervisors could be cleared or could face discipline as severe as dismissal, she said.

The exact nature of the allegations cannot be disclosed, she said.

The president of the union representing rank-and-file officers said if the allegations are proven to be true, the supervisors should repay money they were not due.

“I find it disgraceful that supervisors would misuse the leave program,” said Roy Pinto, president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association.

The names of the supervisors involved will not be released at this point because the issue is a personnel matter, McNaughton said.

“They are not hearings involving a court judge, but are made of various experienced corrections officials who work together to hear all sides of an issue and then determine appropriate discipline, which can range from written reprimands, suspension and termination, depending upon the severity of the issue being heard,” she said.

Repaying money is something that would be considered if officials find merit to the allegations, McNaughton said.

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