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Leadership changes at Oklahoma prison under scrutiny for sexual misconduct allegations


Leadership changes at Oklahoma prison under scrutiny for sexual misconduct allegations

Sep 26, 2023 | 6:30 am ET
By Carmen Forman
Leadership changes at Oklahoma prison under scrutiny for sexual misconduct allegations
Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft has come under scrutiny due to sexual misconduct claims at the facility. (Getty Images) (This image cannot be republished unless you have a subscription to Getty.)

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma prison warden, whose facility faced scrutiny from a state lawmaker for allegedly mishandling inmate sexual misconduct reports, has resigned.

Greg Breslin, the warden at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, resigned last month after spending some time on medical leave, said Department of Corrections spokesperson Kay Thompson.

Breslin, who had served as warden since July 2020, did not submit a resignation letter, she said. Thompson did not provide a reason for Breslin’s departure, but said he’d never had any disciplinary write ups.

Breslin said his resignation was unrelated to the legislative scrutiny or the misconduct allegations surrounding complaints of prison guards at Eddie Warrior having illegal sexual relationships with inmates at the facility.

Breslin was at the helm of the eastern Oklahoma women’s prison when a Republican state lawmaker called for an independent Attorney General’s investigation after a former employee raised questions about whether investigations into sexual misconduct were properly handled, if the correct outcomes were reached and if the proper procedures were followed.

The Department of Corrections and Attorney General’s Office have said the allegations were thoroughly investigated.

Breslin said Monday that his resignation had nothing to do with the misconduct allegations.

He said all complaints made under the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, were investigated. The federal law ensures inmates, staff and the public have ways to report alleged sexual misconduct.

Breslin said he was forced to retire on Aug. 4 while attempting to extend his medical leave until he could retire in October.

Breslin is part of a group of former Department of Corrections employees who allege they were wrongfully terminated and are threatening to sue the agency.

“I was just simply using sick leave, and they used it to get rid of me,” Breslin said. “They just said, ‘We can’t accommodate your leave. You need to resign or retire.’”

Nine former corrections employees have filed tort claims, expressing their intent to sue the state. Of those, four employees were terminated, four resigned and one retired, Thompson said. The claims were first reported by the Tulsa World.

Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, chairman of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Corrections, held a July legislative hearing to discuss the misconduct allegations.

More recently, Humphrey questioned Breslin’s departure. He said the Department of Corrections claimed there was “absolutely nothing wrong” at Eddie Warrior and that Breslin left on his own terms.

“How many people leave of their own free will and then turn around and sue you?” Humphrey asked.

Former Eddie Warrior psychologist Whitney Louis reported that inmates told her of inappropriate sexual contact they had with guards. Sexual intercourse between a guard and an inmate is illegal.

Louis sought whistleblower status but was eventually fired.

The Department of Corrections has said it investigates all PREA complaints.