HAZELTON, W.Va. — The warden at Hazelton will be removed, according to a new report by The New York Times.
The United States Penitentiary (USP) Hazelton has been the site of three murders in 2018, including notorious ganster James “Whitey” Bulger who was murdered in October, just one day after arriving at the facility.
According to The New York Times article, the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz told multiple people that he plans to replace the warden, Joe Coakley, at the Hazelton prison complex in Bruceton Mills.
Earlier this week, two officers at FCI Hazelton were injured after being assaulted by an inmate.
Richard Heldreth, president of Local 420 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents workers at Hazelton, publicly cited understaffing as the cause. Since last year, staff at Hazelton has dropped from 880 to 796, with only about 720 of those positions filled, according to the union.
According to The New York Times article, the bureau has opened an investigation into the case with about 20 prison officials serving as investigators, according to the high-ranking official, and they have traveled to places that are rarely scrutinized, such as a little-known office in Grand Prairie, Tex. The office, which is responsible for prisoner transfers, may have skipped a crucial step in vetting the aging mobster’s move to Hazelton, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.