Report Slams Prison Officials' Use Of State Cars

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Four years ago, someone complained that the superintendent at Gouverneur Correctional Facility was using his official car for personal travel. 

That led to a probe by the state inspector general and now, a new report.

It says then-corrections Commissioner Brian Fisher defied a new state policy clamping down on the use of official vehicles.

In fact, the report says every prison superintendent continued to be assigned an official vehicle to drive to and from work.

In the case of the Gouverneur superintendent, Justin Taylor, the report says he also drove his state vehicle to his other job as Clayton town supervisor, also to the fire station as a member of the fire department and to meetings of the Clayton Antique Boat Museum and the county fire advisory board. 

Then-commissioner Fisher told investigators that superintendents need official cars to respond to emergencies at their prisons.

The report noted, though, that that rarely happened.

In a statement, Taylor, who retired from state corrections two years ago, said his use of an official vehicle conformed to the department's policy at the time. 

"Before I retired in 2011, my use of the issued Department of Correctional Services vehicle conformed with the DOCS policies at that time.  I plan to update the Town Board later this week," he said.

As for the state corrections department, it notes it has a now has a new commissioner and has taken corrective action.

See the report

Thursday, August 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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