Reprisals In Guard Probe Cited In California

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A high-ranking internal affairs officer in the California Department of Corrections testified yesterday that his career was derailed after he refused to divulge details about an investigation of Chino prison guards to the state’s powerful prison officers’ union, the Los Angeles Times says.

Supervising gent Steve Mihalyi is the third investigator – and the highest-ranking one – to come forward with details about the ill-fated investigation into allegations that Chino state prison officers beat inmates in May 2002. Like the others, Mihalyi alleged that the guards’ union pressured top department officials to demand that he turn over investigation files. Doing so, the investigators said, would have endangered witnesses and damaged the inquiry.

The FBI has issued a subpoena seeking the prison’s investigative file on the matter, according to testimony Thursday. Mihalyi believes he became a target of a retaliatory investigation. He said he believes his bosses became so angry over his refusal to obey them that the Department of Corrections is recommending the closure of the Rancho Cucamonga office he headed.


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