Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Onorato Still Being Briefed on Latest Shuman Problem

An investigation has been launched into the alleged assault of a male resident at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center at the hands of a guard. Allegheny County police and the state Department of Public Welfare are conducting the investigation. The resident claims the guard smashed his head against a wall. He first reported the incident to his court appointed lawyer just before a hearing. He was transported to the hospital for treatment. Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato says he has not yet gotten the details of the incident from center Director William Simmons. He says right now it is too early to say what will happen with the employee but he says his “track record shows I will not tolerate misbehavior.” The Post Gazette reports the guard has been "taken off the schedule" and is not being paid while the investigation continues but the director says there is no evidence at this time to support the victim’s claim. The allegation is just the latest in a long string of problems at the center. Onorato says Simmons came into a tough situation and is trying to make some changes. He says he fully supports the new director. Onorato is backing off his previous threat to close the center. He says, “ that probable got a few people nervous about it.” He says, “Our goal is to run the best facility the state can possible run, and lets just say that we will make what ever changes need to be made and Director Simmons has been doing it.”

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