Corrections Officer fired, 2 others suspendedWritten by Janela Carrera
Guam - A corrections officer has been fired, two others suspended and one reprimanded as a result of the internal affairs investigation into the brutal beating of max security prison Justin Roy Meno.
The announcement was made a press conference today.
“The director has rendered his decision and the department served today the notices of final adverse action as follows: One letter of reprimand which will remain in the employee’s file for one year; one 10-day suspension; one 15-day suspension and one dismissal,” announced DOC Acting Director Kate Baltazar.
The announcement comes four days after the deadline for the four corrections officers to submit their reply to Director of Corrections Tony Lamorena, who had issued proposed adverse actions 10 days earlier.
“The suspension is without pay, both suspensions is without pay,” added Internal Affairs Officer Lt. Jeff Limo.
“A letter of reprimand means that the individual is placed on one year--it’s almost somewhat like a probational period for one year. Any infractions that happens, if the person has an infraction within that one year it can be held against them,” noted Limo.
In late March Justin Roy Meno, a maximum security prisoner who was placed at the Special Housing Unit because of behavioral issues, was found outside his single person jail cell bloodied and beaten to near death.
Mystery surrounded the assault as the SHU is a unit where prisoners spend 23 hours inside their cells and only 1 hour outside, however inmates are not allowed to be outside at the same time. According to Lamorena, the four officers were on duty the day Meno was found beaten and all four were assigned to the SHU.
“The officer in question that’s been dismissed from Department of Corrections has been here about a year and 7 months,” explained Limo of the officers’ tenures. “The other three officers, we have one, actually two seasoned officers that have 20-some plus years--one is the reprimand and one is the suspension and the other officer has got about 10 years.”
The four corrections officers will have 20 days to appeal the adverse action against them which became effective today.
Meanwhile, Meno remains in stable condition and is now alert. He had undergone an operation in his skull and was at one point in the ICU in critical condition. Limo says they will be meeting with Meno next week.
“Right now he’s just coming out and we have just gotten word that he’s stable so we’re hoping for a speedy recovery for Mr. Meno,” stated Limo.
This may not be the end of any kind of reprimand for the four corrections officers as the Guam Police Department is also conducting its own criminal investigation into Meno’s assault. Limo could not provide details of GPD investigation but he did note that DOC is cooperating with GPD in their criminal investigation.
he four corrections officers now have 20 days to appeal the adverse action with the Civil Service Commission.