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Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Fired YDC counselor had "inappropriate relationship" with a juvenile, termination letter says

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 5:41 PM
Last updated Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 11:06 PM
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One of the five people fired Friday from the Augusta Youth Development Campus after an inmate was killed last month was let go because of an inappropriate relationship with one of the juveniles, according to her termination letter.

  Augusta Chronicle photo
Augusta Chronicle photo

Sharon Taylor, who was a counselor at the YDC, was fired based on her relationship with a youth identified as S.S. “while he was under the care and custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice and after his release from the facility,” the letter said.

The communications director for DJJ, Emily Gest, declined to comment on the specifics of the relationship.

Christopher Cann, who was a corrections officer at the facility, was dismissed based on his failure to retrieve contraband from youths under his supervision and report the contraband to his supervisor, his letter said.

Natasha Neely, who was also a corrections officer, was fired because of misconduct. Her termination letter went on to say she violated DJJ policy when she “observed a serious violation of the contraband policy and failed to immediately report the incident to (her) supervisors.”

Gest declined to comment on the contraband involved.

Each employee will be paid for all accrued and unused annual leave, Fair Labor Standards Act compensatory time and holidays, and were offered their accrued retirement funds, according to their termination letters.

Former Assistant Director Lawrence P. Cloutier’s termination letter stated that his dismissal was the result of “the Department’s loss of confidence in your leadership abilities.” It went on to say that because of his long service, the DJJ was offering him a new position as a juvenile counselor at the Regional Youth Development Campus in Sandersville.

Kendra Stowbridge, also an assistant director at the time, was fired because of loss of confidence in her leadership abilities, according to her termination letter, and was offered a position as a juvenile corrections lieutenant at the Augusta RYDC.

Both Stowbridge and Cloutier accepted the new positions at 90 percent of what they were making as assistant directors. They started Monday, Gest said.

The firings occurred Friday in the midst of a Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe into the November death of Jade Holder, 19. Holder was beaten to death in his cell.

All five letters were signed by Gary Jones, the interim director and the chief of police of Sardis, Ga.

Comments (17) Add comment
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corgimom
28415
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corgimom 12/20/11 - 07:21 pm
0
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It's a felony for a

It's a felony for a corrections officer/counselor to engage in a romantic relationship with an incarcerated inmate. Why wasn't Sharon Taylor arrested, if she had an "inappropriate" relationship with an inmate?

mrsb
0
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mrsb 12/20/11 - 07:52 pm
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Inapprorpiate doesn't

Inapprorpiate doesn't necessarily mean sexual in nature. She could have brought him gifts without sexual connotation, given him her home or cell number for him to call her during his phone times, taken care of personal things for him like talking with school officials as if she was his mother if the youth had minimal to no family involvement or contacting other family for him beyond the scope of her job duties as his counselor. She could have bought him something to eat or given him change for the vending machine. She could have talked to him more than she talked to other youth she was assigned too. These are mere examples but these things are all inappropriate or can be deemed as such. Therapeutic boundaries are often crossed when professionals atempt to function outside of their duties and go from "Ethics to Emotions."

914darknlovely
8
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914darknlovely 12/20/11 - 08:26 pm
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Bc, the relationship may have

Bc, the relationship may have been inappropriate, but not romantic.

happychimer
16092
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happychimer 12/20/11 - 08:27 pm
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I was thinking the same

I was thinking the same thing.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 12/20/11 - 08:33 pm
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Wow, just can't stay fired

Wow, just can't stay fired can they? New positions at 90 percent of their pay. That's a terrible punishment. Just moved the problems to a new location.

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 12/21/11 - 01:58 am
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Good job Gary Jones!! They

Good job Gary Jones!! They picked the right man for the job - interim or not!! Keep up the great work!!

blues550
355
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blues550 12/21/11 - 08:27 am
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The whole cabal needs to go
Unpublished

The whole cabal needs to go on lockdown until responsible leadership can bring integrity back to this place. Who is watching the the watchers. Riciduloous.

wondersnevercease
9216
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wondersnevercease 12/21/11 - 09:44 am
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Agreed Willow...in
Unpublished

Agreed Willow...in reality..nothing was done..nothing was accomplished.

GodisSoGood
841
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GodisSoGood 12/21/11 - 11:24 am
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0
So the assistant director was

So the assistant director was demoted because of her lack of leadership abilities...but offered a position as Lieutenant at YDC....which is still a leadership position. what kind of sense does that make?

firstamendment23
0
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firstamendment23 12/21/11 - 06:32 pm
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Every single state or federal

Every single state or federal facility (buildings, jails, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.) should be required to have cameras in all the halls and all the rooms of these facilities. All of these cameras should be connected to and accessible from the internet. That way families of those in them can see what is going on and the public will see if there is any illegal or inappropriate activities going on in these facilities. Anyone caught hurting someone else will be fired immediately and not allowed to ever work in another state or federal job not to be relocated so they can still receive state benefits. They would be F-I-R-E-D.... fired !!

firstamendment23
0
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firstamendment23 12/21/11 - 06:43 pm
0
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Wow just look at the list of

Wow just look at the list of Directors, Deputy Commissioners, and Assistant Deputy Commissioners CC'd on the termination letters. I'm sure the assistants have other assistants, and the assistants have employees. The directors are probably making a huge salary with benefits, and it does not take that many to run a simple facility. You only need that many if you're trying to run a Fortune 500 company. What a waste of taxpayer money to have all of these unnecessary state and county positions.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 12/21/11 - 08:24 pm
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I think that "inappropriate

I think that "inappropriate behavior" needs to be better defined on this. If it was sexual in nature then the person should be arrested as a pedophile. The vague term used leaves far too much to the imagination.

corgimom
28415
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corgimom 12/21/11 - 11:57 pm
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Oh, sure, the counselor and

Oh, sure, the counselor and the inmate were just friends.

Sorry, you don't get fired for things like buying a kid something to eat or giving him change for the vending machine.

Use your common sense.

Tookiee
0
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Tookiee 12/22/11 - 09:37 am
0
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Everyone is proven innocent

Everyone is proven innocent intill other wise, prejudgement is a lack of not given someone the opportunity to defend themselves. For those that are involved in neglect are any other criminal act,have to address it appropriate.He who is without sin cast the first stone....

Bruno
780
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Bruno 12/22/11 - 10:35 am
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corgimom, you seem to be

corgimom, you seem to be saying that forming an opinion without all of the facts and then convicting the person is perfectly fine. I am not willing to do that. Using terms such as "inappropriate behavior" is too vague to make an informed decision on. That is why there should be an investigation and clarification on exactly what the behavior was.

hmober
0
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hmober 12/22/11 - 12:36 pm
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I have worked with Kendra

I have worked with Kendra Strowbridge and found her to be of sterling character. I can only hope that there is an appeals process and that she uses it. Thios is a miscarriage of justice by a Sardis redneck!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 12/22/11 - 01:48 pm
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oh my

oh my

dixonchance
0
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dixonchance 12/23/11 - 01:08 pm
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excuse me MR HMOBER, but just

excuse me MR HMOBER, but just for future references, The Chief of Sardis, Gary Jones, is not 1 of us, he is from Richmond County. He hasn't been in Sardis long enough to be claimed as 1 of us REDNECKS. OOPS!!!

Riverman1
79736
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Riverman1 12/23/11 - 01:15 pm
0
0
Dixonchance, much less

Dixonchance, much less someone from all the way down in Richmond County, do y'all differentiate between people born on the south side of Sardis and the north side?

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