Correction on CMC article
January 26, 2015
CalCoastNews incorrectly listed punishments implemented following an investigation into the removal of a document from a California Men’s Colony (CMC) prisoner’s file in a Jan. 9 article.
In the summer of 2012, an inmate informant began bragging about being an informant. In the past, the informant’s tips about other inmates’ drug use led to multiple busts at CMC.
Because of the inmate’s failure to keep his status as an informant confidential, officials at the prison wanted him removed from the facility for the safety of the prison, Lt. Ray Baez said.
Officials at the prison then removed a 115 rules violation report regarding a drug violation from the inmate’s file before he went in front of the parole board. A 115 usually results in an extended prison term or removal of privileges.
Nevertheless, parole board officials discovered a confidential report describing the drug offense. The prisoner was not paroled and an investigation into the 115 file being removed from the file and those responsible for its removal was initiated.
The investigation included Warden Elvin Valenzuela, Captain Jennifer Core, Officer Oscar Herijld and Lt. Ray Baez, sources said.
Valenzuela did not respond to requests for comment. Jeffrey Callison, the press secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, confirmed that there had been an investigation into the altering of an inmate’s file.
“In response to your question yesterday, all we can say at this time is that there was an investigation into actions regarding an inmate’s file,” Callison said in an email. “That investigation has been completed and all appropriate actions have been taken. Since this is a personnel matter, there is no further comment that we can make.”
First the Office of Internal Affairs investigated and sustained the allegations of wrong doing. Then the Housing Authority also sustained the allegations including that Baez had failed to inform his superiors about rule violations in the removal of the 115 from the inmate’s file, Baez said. However, Baez was on vacation during a portion of the time in question.
In addition, Baez said the warden had the right to remove a 115 for the safety of the prison.
Baez then requested a Skelly hearing, a procedure that allows an employee to argue against charges after a punishment has been determined but not implemented. During the hearing held late last year, a judge cleared Baez of all charges, Baez said.
Public relations staff with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said that no one has currently been suspended or fired as a result of the investigation.