The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office (OPSO) fired its human resources director last month following scrutiny over her own past. So reports TheNewOrleansAdvocate.
The Sheriff's Office tapped Johnette Staes as its HR director a year ago to address staff turnover at the jail and to make the hiring process for new employees faster. Staes won the job even though she had a record of bounced checks from 2008 to 2011. None of these incidents ended up in a conviction and it does appear that she did pay the bills as well as fees from the District Attorney's Office.
Staes also faced scrutiny after two jail employees were fired weeks after they were hired in May of last year. One of the deputies had been arrested after it facing allegations that he attempted to smuggle tobacco and marijuana into the jail to a murder suspect.
The second employee was hired despite having criminal charges leveled against her for property damage, disturbing the peace and battery. "Staffing levels in the jail remain in a state of crisis," says Emily Washington, an attorney with MacArthur Justice Center in New Orleans who represents jail inmates, says.
"People in OPSO custody continue to be without proper supervision and to suffer serious harm as a result. We hope that OPSO moves swiftly to fill the HR director position so that efforts to recruit and retain qualified staff can begin."