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WJBD - Local News - Two State Senators On Different Sides Of Prison Hiring Issue

Two State Senators On Different Sides Of Prison Hiring Issue

By Metro News

Two State Senators are offering different perceptions on a politically connected administrator being hired for an administrative position at the East Moline Correctional Center.  

A new report indicates the Department of Corrections broke its own policy when it hired the high level employee.  Senator Mike Jacobs says people are making a big stink because of who the man is.  "I think if his name was anything other than Louis Hare, the son of former Congressman Hare, I think this wouldn't be an issue", said Jacobs.  

Jacobs says it's unfair to pick on Hare simply because of his family line.  But according to the report, it was not inappropriate for the DOC to hire Hare because of his political connections.  It was inappropriate because the the man's work history and experience didn't meet the written requirements at the time he was hired.  However a spokesperson for the DOC says a recent assessment of the employee's current education and experience now makes him qualified for the job.   

Senator Kirk Dillard offers the other perspective.  He says staff attacks have gone up at East Moline Correctional Center in the past two-years since Hare was hired and the appointment is completely unacceptable.  "Not only have the staff assault numbers gone up, but we are talking more violent assaults, and it's pretty clear in the East Moline Correctional Facility that you have people at the top who do not know how to run a penitentiary, and that is really problematic", said Dillard.

Documents released by the DOC indicate there was just one staff attack at East Moline in fiscal year 2011, the year before Hare was hired.  There were three in FY 2012 and three in the first quarter of FY 2013.  A report by the "Quad City Times" last year reveals there was a "near riot" at the facility last July when the lights went out.  Dillard says he plans to look further into political hiring, with every intention of making sure the guards and the public are safe.  

When hired by the DOC, Hare had experience teaching theater and running his dad's campaign office.  According to the job description, two-years of supervisory experience within corrections and a working knowledge of how prisons operate were required for the position.  

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