Harris Co. employees fired in connection to alleged sex scandal at county jail

October 5, 2012 8:52:17 PM PDT
Six people entrusted with keeping law and order are now accused of violating the rules of the Harris County Sheriff's Office and breaking the law.

On Friday afternoon, Sheriff Adrian Garcia discussed the problem when he announced the results of an internal investigation.

The alleged sexual misconduct happened inside two jail facilities on Baker Street in downtown Houston -- the bigger detention center and across the street at the minimum security location.

Garcia says at both locations, the sexual activity happened inside the laundry room where there are no surveillance cameras. That's changing...and so is his staff.

"Their actions are inexcusable," said Garcia. "Today, I fired employees who have been employed here for over 10 years."

Among those fired were four detention officers and one deputy. Additionally, a deputy resigned and another retired while under investigation.

They join former Deputy Tony Richards as casualties of the probe that started in August of last year. He was fired in February and is now charged with having improper sexual activity with an inmate.

The others, according to the sheriff, are accused of either having sex with inmates or with other employees or as supervisors looking the other way.

"While people are in our custody, we have laws and rules to abide by," Garcia said.

Dean Sierra was checking into jail for the weekend for driving with a suspended license when we told him about he sex accusations.

"It doesn't surprise me at all," he said.

"I hear it a lot, I really hear it a lot so it doesn't shock me," said Montasha Curtis, who was in downtown to post a bond.

None of the others involved in the scandal have been charged so far, but the case is being referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office. Garcia didn't name them Friday, but said some of them have been working at the sheriff's office for more than 10 years.

Garcia said he blames the previous administration for a culture that allowed this. He also said the sheriff's office already has taken additional measures, like installing more cameras at the jail to make sure this situation isn't repeated.

Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest details.


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