St. Louis’ suspended jail commissioner sent repeated warnings to city officials alleging he wasn’t being allowed to do his job, had lost key personnel and, as a result, that jail security was compromised, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gene Stubblefield, the city’s commissioner of corrections, was suspended last week after three jail breakouts over two years, concerns over financial management, and a sharp rise in employee overtime.
The same day he was suspended, another inmate escaped from the city’s medium security institution. Stubblefield had repeatedly warned various officials in Mayor Francis Slay’s office of low staffing, troubles in management, and the loss of key jail personnel. Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed said, “The blame for this goes higher than (Public Safety Director) Charles Bryson and up to the Mayor who appointed him to our largest and most important department which oversees the safety of our citizens.” Slay’s office said the escapes had nothing to do with staffing levels and that the jails were fully staffed at the times of all four breakouts.