Friday, June 11, 1999

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS SETTLES LAWSUIT WITH FORMER CORCORAN CORRECTIONAL OFFICER

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) and former Correctional Officer Richard Caruso set aside their differences and entered into a mutually agreeable settlement of Caruso’s stress and attorneys’ fees claims today, announced CDC Director C. A. "Cal" Terhune. The complaints arose from Caruso’s 1994 cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding allegations of misconduct at the California State Prison, Corcoran.

As part of the settlement, Caruso agreed to dismiss and release from liability all individual defendants, the state and various state employees who were named in state and federal lawsuits he has filed since 1996. In exchange, CDC has agreed to pay Caruso and his attorneys an undisclosed amount. CDC also has agreed to drop all existing disciplinary actions against Caruso and has specifically denied liability.

Terhune commended the more than 45,000 CDC employees for their dedication. "I would like to take this opportunity to express my unflagging support of the dedicated employees of CDC who have repeatedly demonstrated their integrity and professionalism."

Terhune also reiterated CDC’s policy of encouraging staff to report allegations of misconduct without fear of reprisal. "We will take all reasonable measures to ensure that there will be no retaliation for reporting illegal activities or violations of law or public policy," he said.