2012-05-31 / Front Page

Wyoming Prison Warden to Resign Tomorrow

D.C. Koviack

Warden Mickey AmeighWarden Mickey AmeighOn Thursday, the Wyoming County Commissioners issued a press release confirming that Warden Mickey Ameigh would officially step down from his position at the Wyoming County Correctional Facility tomorrow, Friday, June 1.

The warden’s letter to the commissioners was accepted Thursday, in a continuance of their regular session on Tuesday from which they had recessed, and re-convened.

Thursday the commissioners conducted a lengthy executive session with the warden to discuss the details of his departure; this was followed by the official resignation.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners had already accepted the resignation of Lt. Janet Howell from the Wyoming County Correctional Facility; she will be retiring as of June 3.

The resignations came as a  surprise to many, as Ameigh has been with the jail for 19 years and Howell 23. Ameigh is an “at will” employee, which means that he serves at the pleasure discretion of the county commissioners and may be terminated at any time.

An examination of the prison during the past several months by the commissioners and other officials included facility visits and private interviews with prison employees, inmates and former inmates. That overview culminated in a private meeting May 16 between the warden, the lieutenant and the Wyoming County Commissioners.

Ameigh took over from Warden Francis Patts in 1993. During his tenure, policies and procedures at the facility were completely overhauled, and the prison’s security systems were renovated.

Ameigh has also worked diligently with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to be sure that the facility’s regulations conform to those mandated by the state; for the past four inspections, the facility has received a 100 percent grade during its bi-annual review.

Locally, Ameigh, who makes his home in Dalton, has worked with community groups to enhance prisoners’ opportunities for rehabilitation while incarcerated.

The reasons behind the departures of the warden and lieutenant have not been made public, and the commissioners have been very quiet on the subject.

According to the press release, Sergeant Kenneth Repsher, who has worked as overall shift supervisor at the prison for many years, will step in as acting warden. The job of county prison warden will now be advertised, with a new warden hired, it is hoped, sometime this summer.

The commissioners ended their press release by thanking Ameigh for his many years of service.



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