It looks like the Walker Authority is in the corporation protection racket, especially when it comes to shielding companies from serious allegations of health violations on the job for inmates on work release. When a state inmate got injured on the job, and complained, the state lowered the boom on the guy. Not the company. Crazy?
Here are a few details in one of the most poorly written stories to date about that inmate:
State Journal: David Champeny, the inmate hospitalized then disciplined after being injured at a fiberglass factory…Wait, “disciplined?” For what, writing a letter? Why? Good luck finding out why. Perhaps the following will offer a clue:
The conduct report that led to the segregation and denial of parole also has been reversed.
Wait, “conduct report?” Why? Good luck finding that information as well.
Champeny, of Beloit, was placed in segregation at Oakhill Correctional Institution for four months and denied parole after he wrote a letter to Fiberdome complaining that he had suffered lung damage while working there last December.
Champeny’s injury had sparked an investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is seeking $36,900 in fines for several serious alleged workplace violations, including in the area where Champeny worked. “After reviewing the OSHA report,” DOC spokesman Aaron Swanum said, “the warden made a decision to overturn the findings of and dismiss Champeny’s conduct report due to this new information.” Champeny also will get an expedited parole hearing.
Again, why was the inmate penalized for writing the letter? Anyone?
Champeny’s physician wrote in his medical records that another unnamed work-release prisoner had suffered even more serious lung damage while working at the plant. And Owens said he has gotten inquiries from non-prisoner employees who also report toxic exposure while working at Fiberdome.
Perhaps the DOC can’t explain why, because after all, Champeny was a criminal, and Fiberdome isn’t technically one yet.
DOC has removed all work-release prisoners from the facility, which has employed 326 such workers since 2004, Swanum said.