Why hasn't Maryland's corrections chief been held accountable for the ongoing prison scandal?

August 09, 2013

Tavon White pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering for his role in the drug smuggling, cell phone smuggling and sex in the Baltimore detention center ("Gang leader Tavon White pleads guilty in jail scheme," Aug. 7). I am appalled that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has shown such a lack of leadership in standing behind state corrections chief Gary Maynard during the ongoing corruption scandal.

Mr. Maynard, who has been on the job since 2007, stated last year that the collusion, corruption and riots had been part of the system for a long time and that it had been exposed. Thirteen guards were indicted in the scandal.

But Mr. Maynard had been on the job for five years before news of widespread corruption broke. If he knew about it, what did he do to fix the problem?

In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department said the conditions in Maryland's prison system violated inmates' rights. This should have been a lightning rod for Mr. Maynard when he took the helm of the system.

Instead, Mr. Maynard and Mr. O'Malley have insisted that these problems are not those of Mr. Maynard. In any private business, the person at the top is held accountable.

Mr. Maynard should have been released last year. It looks like Mr. O'Malley is only interested in protecting his political cronies and not in serving the best interest of the state.

Steve Schaefer, Lutherville

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