An investigation into public corruption at a state youth detention center in eastern Oregon paints a picture of an out-of-control warden who bilked taxpayers for thousands of dollars while silencing staff with threats. The Oregonian reported a wide range of alleged abuses by Darrin Humphreys, the former superintendent of the RiverBend youth detention center. The paper alleged that Humphreyss stole state property, including roofing materials, lumber and exercise equipment; used youth inmates to install kitchen cabinets in and reroof his home; arranged a cash kickback from a contractor; claimed more than $12,000 in unearned mileage reimbursements, and tried to get potential whistle-blowers fired.
Humphreys, 43, quit last year after the Oregon State Police began investigating abuses at RiverBend, the 50-bed detention center he ran for seven years. A Union County grand jury is reviewing the evidence against him. He had been a rising star in the Oregon Youth Authority, a little-known state agency with a $72 million annual budget that is responsible for more than 2,000 youth offenders in 11 institutions and on parole.