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Investigation launched into Mitchell Correctional Institute

Camilla, Ga. -- Leaders in Mitchell County are awaiting a report from the Georgia Department of Corrections following an investigation into the operations of the Mitchell Correctional Institute, interim Administrator Jerry Permenter says.

Last week, investigators from the GDOC spent several days at the 150-bed facility, reviewing records and conducting interviews.

The investigation comes at the request of the Mitchell County Commission who is seeking to shed light on allegations brought against the facility, Permenter said.

"They came after a request was made by the commission to investigate claims that were being made," Permenter said. "We've yet to receive any written reports but we're waiting on that to come any day."

Permenter said that the investigation comes after former Mitchell County Administrator Jerry Presley attempted his own review of the facility and accusations made against the operation of the department. When Presley, who was dismissed last week by the commission, started digging, the county began receiving employee grievances from those who worked at the facility, which prompted commissioners to seek an independent, outside authority to investigate.

The investigation coincides with a change in leadership at the facility. Permenter says that Warden Bruce Shiver, who had planned to retire in February but was prevented from doing so because he failed to meet the age requirement, will be officially retiring now that the commission has changed the county's retirement policy to include years of service or age.

Permenter insists that any correlation between Shiver's decision to retire and the timing of the investigation is "purely coincidental."

Shiver's understudy, Deputy Warden Jerry Floyd, however, has tendered his resignation.

Permenter say that while Floyd was not the subject of the investigation or believed to be involved in any wrongdoing, that his decision to resign did come as a result of the investigation.

Permenter has also terminated a female employee at the facility for breaching security protocol, he said.