Thursday, November 7, 1996


A team of California Department of Corrections (CDC) trained investigators arrived this week at California State Prison, Corcoran to begin CDC’s probe of allegations of staff misconduct.

"I have instructed the team to provide me facts on the allegations within 60 days," said Corrections Director James H. Gomez. "The California Department of Corrections has the greatest interest in learning the facts. If there are staff guilty of the allegations, I want them fired and prosecuted."

A team of 14 investigators and an attorney started a personnel investigation that has been delayed for two years at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

As the statute of limitations approaches for CDC to take any disciplinary action, agreement was received from the FBI for CDC to initiate its own investigation of allegations that staff staged fights among inmates and that some staff attempted to impede the FBI probe.

CDC investigators are working with the FBI to schedule interviews with two agents to determine whether an alleged high speed chase two years ago involving CDC staff and the FBI did or did not take place.

"I also am asking the FBI to share any information it has that will assist our investigation, this includes copies of any reports prepared by FBI agents pertaining to the allegations," said Gomez. "We also are asking the FBI to provide copies of documents taken from Corcoran two years ago by Correctional Officer Richard Caruso."

CDC has cooperated fully with FBI requests since its investigation began in October 1994. CDC has provided the FBI with compete access to documents, personnel, and prison facilities. CDC also delayed its own investigation to accommodate the FBI.

"I want the facts," said Gomez. "We’ve cooperated fully with the FBI for two years in their inquiry and now we need their assistance in our investigation."