Emmett says two should retire over metal detector

November 20, 2009 6:37:31 PM PST
Big changes are now in the works for the juvenile detention center after a 16-year-old was caught with a loaded pistol in his cell. The teen apparently made it through an unplugged metal detector and it's not the first time the detector has been turned off. In a press conference on Friday, Judge Ed Emmett said he will recommend next week that Juvenile Justice Center Executive Director Harvey Getzel and Facilities Director Bob Husbands both retire, effective December 31.

Judge Emmett says both supervisors knew about a malfunctioning metal detector in the facility, but didn't do anything about it. He says they then lied at a board meeting on Wednesday to save face.

"You kind of end up with a cover-up. How many times have we all seen it? It's not the incident that causes the problem, it the cover-ups. So this is a house cleaning, there's no way around it," said Judge Emmett, Chairman of the County Juvenile Detention Board.

For the first time, we're hearing the metal detector has been malfunctioning and unplugged periodically for the last three years. Apparently several supervisors there knew the metal detector was unreliable, but never documented it or made sure work orders were turned in.

"If they had merely said okay the metal detector doesn't work and moved it out and had no metal detector, then that's okay as long as they did the other things to offset that. But they didn't do that. And then when questioned about the metal detector, they stood right in front of us and said well we're not sure. Well they were sure," Judge Emmett said.

The judge has named interim replacements for both Hetzel and Husbands.

In the meantime, there is a new metal detector in the Juvenile Detention Center. There have been searches since that initial gun was discovered, but no other weapons have been found.

There are possibly four to six other supervisors whose jobs may be on the line. That will come out in later investigations.


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