The Chief of Security at an embroiled Muskogee County prison is on administrative leave with pay after an anonymous correctional officer asked a state lawmaker for an investigation.
Just this year, four inmates have escaped from Jess Dunn Correctional Facility. Current and former officers said the chief of security is part of the problem.
In a letter to lawmakers, an anonymous Jess Dunn Correctional officer said, "None of us have faith in this chief," referring to Chief of Security Roman Jones.
It says, "The chief's treatment and blatant disregard for the officers is detrimental to our safety. [The inmates] feel empowered as though they can act and behave however they feel with no backlash."
News On 6 talked to a former correctional officer who quit a few months ago but said he wants to protect his identity because he's received death threats from gang members.
"The behavior of the chief is unacceptable. It's not behavior of a law enforcement officer. It's a disgrace to blue," he said. "Everything on the letter is true. And I know that because I was there when it was all going down."
The officer said he and his fellow C.O.'s believe Chief Jones has gang ties because of his special treatment of certain inmates at Jess Dunn.
"We believe pretty strongly he's associated with Bloods," he said.
He said inmates are becoming increasingly hostile, believing they can get away with whatever they want because of the chief.
"He mentioned he would take an inmate's word over an officer's," he said.
The D.O.C. confirms Chief Jones has been suspended with pay as they investigate the contents of the letter.
A rep said if the claims are substantiated, they'll take action.
"They're gonna say they're gonna look into it. But nothing ever happens," said the former correctional officer.
Representative Avery Frix released a statement saying he immediately requested a full investigation when he received the letter. He said he looks forward to getting to the bottom of the allegations.
Department of Corrections spokesman Matt Elliott said they started investigating the complaints at Jess Dunn a week before Representative Frix approached them.