CPSO correctional officer fired for inappropriate conduct

Published 12:12am Thursday, March 7, 2013

VIDALIA — A Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office correctional officer was arrested Wednesday after investigators allege she was involved in inappropriate sexual conduct with a prison inmate.

Karen Watts, 48, of 720 Eagle Road, Vidalia, was arrested and charged with malfeasance in office and held without bond.

Chief Deputy David Hedrick said Watts worked at the Concordia Parish Work Release facility on U.S. 84 where she supervised a crew of work release inmates.

Internal investigators at the sheriff’s office became aware of the alleged inappropriate conduct after a check of the telephone systems at Concordia Parish Correctional Facility.

“We routinely check our phone systems to ensure the safety and security of our inmates,” Hedrick said. “Calls were intercepted that made our investigators suspect there was possible inappropriate behavior occurring with (Watts) and a prison inmate.”

Hedrick said the phone calls made between Watts and the inmate explicitly described the sexual acts they allegedly were conducting.

Watts was arrested Wednesday and charged with malfeasance in office. Louisiana law statues state the penalty for a malfeasance in office violation can result in five to 10 years of imprisonment.

Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick said the matter was still under investigation, but that he wanted residents to understand that he holds parish employees to high standards.

“I hold my employees to the same standards I set for myself as sheriff of the parish,” Sheriff Hedrick said. “Every employee takes an oath to obey the laws of the constitution and the laws of our state before joining our department.

“This administration will not tolerate neglect, abuse or misconduct of any kind by those appointed to serve Concordia Parish through this office.”

Hedrick said the inmate could also receive additional time added to his sentence for the misconduct, but that no charges had been made yet against the inmate.

Watts was terminated from her position. She had worked for the sheriff’s office for less than a year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Stutzman/100000914851900 Joe Stutzman

    looking for love in all the wrong places. should be a country song. OOPS! it already is

  • suzee981

    While what this woman did was wrong, the inmate is just as at fault. They look for people to take advantage of, people who are weak and vulnerable. All these guys want is to find a way out or get someone to take down with them. What gets me is that a law was passed recently that limited the number of females hired to a correctional facility and keeps them in minimal contact with the inmates. How was this woman assigned to work crew, and was a male officer with her?

  • Anonymous

    The inmate will get some of the trouble too. He will get more time. All the work crews I have seen around the parish only have ONE guard, who sits in the vehicle pulling a trailer.

    As for the woman, she took an oath and failed to obey the laws she swore to enforce. Male or female the result is the same!

  • “THEMAN”

    Here we are, the two of us together…
    Taking this crazy chance to be all alone…
    We both know that we should not be together…
    Cause if they found out it could mess up…
    Both our happy homes….

    I hate to think about us not together…
    As soon as I look at you it will show on my face…
    Then they’ll know that we’ve been loving each other…
    We can’t let’em know, girl, no, no,
    We can’t leave a trace…

    Secret lovers that’s what we are,
    We should not be together,
    But we can’t let go cause we love each other so.

  • http://profiles.google.com/everette.roberts Everette Roberts

    scum bad Watts

  • Anonymous

    LMBO!!!! Secret Lovers! Yep. That was the tune back in the day but seriously, when an inmate starts to look like a viable dating candidate for you, you seriously need to get out and get a life! A prison system is NO place for a weak minded, silly person with an addictive personality, to work. Sadly, most exams and interviews don’t reveal such, and as a former correction’s officer, this offense can be committed by men as well. Women sadly look for the perceived companionship of someone who isn’t going anywhere, and men can use it as a power tool. Regardless, these actions put everyone in that facility at risk and can pose a very dangerous breach in security.

  • “THEMAN”

    LOL!! You’re 100% right…To risk your job and your freedom to have relations with a inmate tells us she’s 2 fries short of a happy meal…

  • Anonymous

    Um, no. She held all the cards and was in a position of authority. She abdicated that for a little of the old in and out with an incarcerated criminal. If, as you suggest, the fairer sex just isn’t capable of watching over these criminals without falling prey to their sexual wiles, perhaps they should not be considered for such positions. Isn’t political correctness awesome?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe she thought she was a Prison Recreation Director???