CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Many files relating to a corrections lawsuit that could have been destroyed have been found, according to the governor’s office.
Files of complaints from hundreds of inmates at the Southern Regional Jail have been discovered in file cabinets at the facility, according to Chief of Staff Brian Abraham.
Earlier this week a federal magistrate expressed concerns that many documents in the case had either been lost, thrown out or intentionally destroyed.
Interim Corrections Commissioner Brad Douglas who was in charge of record keeping, and Homeland Security General Counsel Phil Sword were dismissed by the governor’s office over this on Wednesday.
The documents were requested by lawyers who filed the class action over harsh conditions in the state’s jails and prisons. The governor says anyone else found to have dropped the ball, will face firing or perhaps even worse.
“If people have done a derelict job, they need replaced. If they have done something wrong such as destroy evidence, or like that when they know that it’s dead wrong, then they need to go to jail,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
Now, not all of the missing files have been located. In his order, the federal magistrate judge said he might turn the case over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, for possible criminal investigation.
And while the lawsuit targets the Southern Regional Jail by name, it is a class action, that could bring changes and improvements to all jails and prisons in West Virginia.