CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Six correctional officers have been sanctioned and another has resigned as an inmate abuse investigation continues at Western Regional Jail, state Regional Jail Authority Director Joe DeLong told lawmakers Monday.
DeLong also said that criminal charges could still be brought against some officers as members of the West Virginia State Police complete their investigation into one of the alleged beatings.
Two weeks ago, DeLong told members of the Legislature's regional jail oversight committee that nearly a dozen Western Regional Jail officers had been suspended as part of an investigation into two alleged excessive force incidents at the jail.
One inmate had to be hospitalized for broken ribs, a collapsed lung and broken vertebrae as a result of one of the beatings.
While state police were still investigating both incidents, DeLong said Monday, the authority had completed its investigation of the incident involving the inmate that was not hospitalized.
As a result of the internal investigation, DeLong said one officer resigned and disciplinary actions were taken against six others.
DeLong declined to name those involved or discuss specific personnel actions with lawmakers Monday, but said those actions "ranged from termination to suspension."
Lawmakers asked DeLong if he thought any officers would face criminal charges in connection to the incidents, and DeLong said that was still unclear.
"What they are doing from a criminal matter, to my knowledge is still ongoing, so I cannot share with you any findings at this point," he said.
Eight officers remain on suspension in connection with the other incident, DeLong said.
In response to the incidents, DeLong said he is looking at restructuring middle management at regional jails.
He said most of the incidents occur during the evening hours, when top jail administrators have left for the day and corporals or sergeants are left to supervise entry-level officers.
"It doesn't matter how good we are at the top...if we fail in the middle, we fail at all levels, because so much of the jail is dependent of that," DeLong said. "What I've found is that we offer little training for corporals and sergeants who are shift commanders."
DeLong also said a promotion to shift supervisor entails a lot more responsibility, but only comes with a $1,000 annual pay raise.