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Two fired, two suspended at Augusta YDC

Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 5:29 PM
Last updated Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 11:04 PM
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Two more staff members have been fired from the Augusta Youth Development Campus, including the recreation director who was let go for sexual misconduct just days after a sexual assault was reported by a youth at the facility.



Charles McGruder was terminated for a “sexual misconduct policy violation involving a resident under the care and custody of the department,” according to a news release.

Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Gale Buckner would not say if the firing was related to the incident reported Saturday night,in which an 18-year-old victim told YDC staff he was assaulted. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been asked to help with the case, according to Special Agent in Charge Mike Ayers.

That incident is the second report of sexual assault in as many months. In December, Devin Scott Ardoin, 17, was charged with aggravated child molestation after a 14-year-old was sexually assaulted at the facility.

Along with McGruder, juvenile corrections officer Edward Henderson was fired for a “misconduct policy violation involving a resident under the care and custody of the department,” the release said.

Another corrections officer, Steven Whitaker, and a Counselor 3, La Tonya Durden, were suspended with pay. Both were suspended “following an investigation into policy violations regarding contraband.”

Buckner said none of the firings or suspensions were related to the November death of Jade Holder, 19, who was beaten to death in his cell.

“All these individuals remain under investigation,” she said. “Further incident details are being withheld pending the conclusion of both our administration investigation and the criminal investigations that are ongoing.”

These staff changes are in addition to the five staff members fired Dec. 16, two of whom were offered positions at other facilities at a demoted status. Former Director John Brady was fired Dec. 5, and Marlon McCreary Sr., a guard at the facility, was fired Nov. 10.

Heather Gates, another security employee, was suspended with pay Nov. 9 and Capt. Victor Martin was suspended with pay Nov. 10, both for possible employee misconduct. Gates has since resigned.

The facility was placed on lock-down pending an investigation into a missing set of keys.

Buckner said progress has been made since her initial visit in November and the follow-up trip to the facility in December. The remaining Augusta YDC staff members are receiving refresher training courses and the filling of vacant positions is going “smoothly.”

“We still have some inefficiencies that need to be addressed and those are being hit head-on,” she said. “We are still reviewing incidents that I have not discussed today and other personnel issues.”

She said there are other employees under investigation for policy violations that she was not willing to discuss.

“It’s important for me to be able to note to the citizens of this community that as commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice, no violation of our policies and procedures as it deals with our safety and security of our campus will be tolerated by this administration.”

Comments (13) Add comment
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eb97
835
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eb97 01/20/12 - 05:58 pm
0
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I use to work for the feds

I use to work for the feds that investigated YDC Augusta before for abuse and I was one of the investigators. I hope they clean house this time because it sure needs it or close it all together.

wondersnevercease
9218
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wondersnevercease 01/20/12 - 06:22 pm
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suspended With pay..isn't
Unpublished

suspended With pay..isn't called "vacation"?

madgerman
236
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madgerman 01/20/12 - 06:27 pm
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What does "suspended with
Unpublished

What does "suspended with pay" really mean? And what was the contraband violation they were suspended for?

anngunter24
0
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anngunter24 01/20/12 - 06:32 pm
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They need to shut it down,

They need to shut it down, tired of seeing them in the newspaper all the damn time

Craig Spinks
818
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Craig Spinks 01/20/12 - 06:51 pm
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(E)b97, Good idea.

(E)b97,

Good idea.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 01/20/12 - 06:53 pm
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eb97, that's terrible to
Unpublished

eb97, that's terrible to hear. i hate to think of these kids getting sexually abused by the staff. it's too horrible, everybody. what about the kids who are in there for running away or drugs- what if those kids did those things because of abuse at home and then we continue to hurt them this way? what can we expect for some soul who's lived that? what can we do, eb97?

whyme
2128
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whyme 01/20/12 - 11:15 pm
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I've said this before and

I've said this before and I'll say it again. The public's tolerance and even "you get what you deserve" attitude towards violence in our penal system is the problem with these facilities. Young or old, male or female, I have no problem with the criminal getting the strictness punishment for the crime committed, and the more heinous, the more strict-prison should not be a better living arrangement than the average American has. This does not, however, include assault or rape against them and the turning of the blind eye by the wardens to these sorts of things or even engaging in criminal behavior of their own. Maybe these criminals don't deserve any sort of counseling or social support but not everyone in a jail or prison, especially the youth, are there for violent crimes. At some point they may get out and what will we have done to protect ourselves from their repeat offenses? Allowed crimes to perpetrated in the lock-up?

Billyds999
17
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Billyds999 01/21/12 - 07:00 am
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You can bet that innocent

You can bet that innocent staff are falsely accused by hoodlems every day. But however, if the accusations are true, "fired" ain't all the staff should get. They should be arrested, tried, and incarcerated!

AutumnLeaves
10441
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AutumnLeaves 01/21/12 - 01:34 pm
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False Accusations

False Accusations unfortunately are a modus operandi for some no-conscience, destructive individuals nowadays. Hopefully the accusations are false, but if that is the case, they should throw the book at them. If they are guilty of the accusations, the same should happen. On another matter: Craig Spinks, I saw you hadn't logged out of Augusta Chronicle yesterday at the computer you used, so I logged you out just now. Hope no one borrowed your name while you were away from the computer. That could have been a bit perplexing to readers if that happened. That's why I don't take it for granted a name is necessarily the person that usually writes under it. Stuff like that can happen.

Riverman1
94402
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Riverman1 01/21/12 - 01:36 pm
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Autumn Leaves, I'm curious.

Autumn Leaves, I'm curious. How do you log out another person?

ispy4u
0
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ispy4u 01/21/12 - 02:44 pm
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Contraband they are referring

Contraband they are referring to are drugs, cigarettes and cell phones. My only concern is that they are only focusing on current employees. There are many former employees that should be investigated and arrested.

Asitisinaug
4
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Asitisinaug 01/21/12 - 03:09 pm
0
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River, she was at the

River, she was at the computer he had previouly used and had failed to log out so did it for him.....thankfully!

Riverman1
94402
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Riverman1 01/21/12 - 03:11 pm
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Ahhhh, I get it...the

Ahhhh, I get it...the library. I didn't understand that part before.

eb97
835
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eb97 01/21/12 - 03:36 pm
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@broadstreet, you can contact

@broadstreet, you can contact thegao.org to see what local citizens can do to stop this on-going tragedy. You can send letters to your senators and congressman and make them aware of the situation and get them working on it. The more that know the better because the more will get done in protecting these kids.

Asitisinaug
4
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Asitisinaug 01/22/12 - 06:40 pm
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Thanks for the info eb97

Thanks for the info eb97

graygoose
0
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graygoose 03/15/12 - 03:21 pm
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Here is the thing that

Here is the thing that concerns me, some of these kids are in this center in the first place for destructive behavior of some kind. Just because they are locked up doesnt mean that behavior stops. If they can not be free to be destructive they will still find a way to do it at someone else's expense. All they have to do is say someone touched them then it's finger being pointed at everyone. Lets pray that the innocent be found innocent and the guilty be found guilty.

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