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Washington State DOC Guard Demoted For Mail Tampering And Violating Rules

Washington State Department of Corrections guard Teresa McSheery appealed her 1997 demotion for committing regulatory mail and safety violations. The demotion was affirmed.

McSheery worked at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in 1989 and was the mail and property room sergeant. In 1996 she was twice reprimanded for insubordination and disrespect and placed in core program training to improve her skills. She was reassigned to a relief sergeant at her own request. Unprocessed legal mail, regular mail and 300 stamps were subsequently found in her mail room desk. As relief sergeant, she supervised a situation where a prisoner was threatening to harm herself. She violated rules and regulations requiring keeping the prisoner handcuffed, utilization by staff of protective equipment, not leaving a single staff member alone with the prisoner and video taping the incident. She was demoted from sergeant for neglect of duty, gross misconduct and willfully violating rules and regulations. She appealed.

The Washington State Personnel Appeals Board held that her "lack of good judgment" put the prisoner and staff at risk, as well as the institution's security. See: McSheery
v. Department of Corrections, Wash. Pers. Appeals Board, Case No. DEMO 97 0005 (Aug. 5, 1999).

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Related legal case

McSheery v. Department of Corrections

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