Prison worker dismissed for bringing contraband to inmate

A worker at the prison system's Tonopah Conservation Camp has been fired for trying to bring contraband into the camp for an inmate.

Katherine Sperry's termination was upheld this week by hearing officer Bill Kockenmeister.

She was targeted by investigators after they intercepted a conversation between inmate Fermin Fajayan and his sister talking about the plan to get vitamins, supplements and other contraband into the camp.

Investigators followed the sister to Sperry's home. The next day, they stopped her as she arrived at the camp and found a box containing glucosamine, vitamin E and other materials in the trunk.

According to the hearing officer's opinion, the woman told them she agreed to deliver the box but never looked inside to see what she was delivering. She said she had decided not to deliver the box.

But prison officials terminated her, charging undue familiarity with an inmate and his family and violating camp security by bringing a box she didn't even know the contents of to the camp for an inmate.

Kockenmeister upheld the firing saying "substantial, reliable and probative evidence does establish that the termination of (Sperry) from her position as Retail Storekeeper at the (camp) has been for the good of the public service."


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