TDCJ's Existing Nonexistent Facebook Policy: Its CFO Was Facebook Friend with Inmate, Too
A prison guard fired for being Facebook friends with an inmate was reinstated after it was discovered that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's chief financial officer was Facebook friends with the same dude.
The alleged idiocy was uncovered by The Backgate, a blog run by TDCJ employee Duane Stuart.
Stuart told us in May about wardens allegedly monitoring employees' social media accounts, and disciplining or firing employees with online connections to current or former offenders.
TDCJ Spokesman Jason Clark denied the existence of such a policy. (We put in a call to him this morning and will update when we hear back.)
Last week, Stuart wrote about a sergeant at the Walls Unit in Huntsville who was fired for being Facebook friends with an inmate on his unit. The sergeant, Heath Lara, claimed "that he went to school with the offender in Huntsville 25 years prior...."
Lara did some sleuthing of his own, and, according to Stuart, he discovered that TDCJ CFO Jerry McGinty and 12 other employees were also FB friends with the inmate. Lara was subsequently reinstated.
"The nonexistent Facebook policy that TDCJ still claims not to enforce has once again come into question," Stuart told Hair Balls in an e-mail. "[We] asked a TDCJ spokesperson to comment on the story and we were basically ignored by the agency....The stories continue to pour in from around the state from employees who feel their rights to privacy have been violated. "
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.