Lafayette Hall, superintendent of a Sampson County prison, has been suspended pending an investigation into the allegations, The (Charlotte, N.C.) News & Observer reported.
In July, six inmates wrote a letter to the U.S. District Court, alleging they were forced to drink hot sauce and pour it on themselves in return for favors such as food, cigarettes and opportunities to work for 70 cents a day. The inmates said they were also made to kiss deadly snakes on the mouth and to simulate sex acts while working on a road crew.
A judge who reviewed the letter classified it as a civil rights complaint, but dismissed it, saying the inmates did not follow proper legal procedures. She did, however, allow the inmates to file a lawsuit in the proper venue.
A completion date for the investigation wasn't known.