California Corrections Director Edward Alameida, Jr., has resigned for “personal reasons,” the Los Angeles Times reports. He had headed the nation’s largest state prison system for two years. Critics have accused Alameida of blocking investigations into allegedly abusive guards and allowing the corrections officers union to dictate policy.
Alameida, 54, had said he had hoped to stay on the job under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “In fact, I’m looking forward to staying in the job,” he said in November.
Alameida began in the accounting office of Folsom State Prison in 1973. He became director in September 2001, overseeing 33 prisons, 160,000 inmates and almost 50,000 prison officers.
State Sen. Jackie Speier said, “In my conversations with the governor, he expressed an interest in trying to shape up the department, which I applaud. And Edward Alameida has been a defender of the status quo.”
The department is overspending its $5-billion annual budget this year by more than $500 million. Internal affairs investigators and their attorneys allege that Alameida, at the behest of the union that represents prison officers, blocked investigations into wrongdoing by guards; Alameida and the union denied the charges.