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Calif. sheriff asks for FBI help

April 9, 2008 at 1:19 PM   |   Comments

SANTA ANA, Calif., April 9 (UPI) -- The acting sheriff in Orange County, Calif., said he has asked for FBI intervention after the suspension of five employees over the beating death of an inmate.

Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson asked for a federal investigation following the release of grand jury transcripts that said guards at the Theo Lacy prison facility slept, watched television and relied on inmates for security, The Los Angeles Times said Wednesday.

Three of the five suspensions involve prison authorities working on October 2006 when inmates raped, tortured and beat inmate John Derek Chamberlain to death close to a guard station.

Anderson told the Times he planned to launch the biggest internal affairs investigation in history of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Around 30 top sheriff's officials monitor about 400 deputies and corrections officers and Anderson says if those officials had monitored the Theo Lacy facility, they would have seen the neglect by the rank and file officers.

Grand jury transcripts show violations of sheriff's department policy contributed to Chamberlain's death and indicate several high-ranking officials perjured themselves during their testimony, the newspaper said.

Anderson said he would impose tougher standards, including a ban on cellphones and televisions in an effort to improve prison security and accountability at the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

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