JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. – Imagine being told you’re fired, then, hold on, you’re not fired. That happened to Steve Mason. The executive director of Community Corrections for Clark County was fired, he says, illegally. An emergency meeting was held earlier in July to discuss whether he’d keep his job.
Wednesday night, a final decision was made.
Steve Mason is keeping his job. But, he was also given a long list of changes he and the rest of the department need to make to keep something like this from happening again.
After Mason was fired a couple weeks ago, the Corrections Department Advisory Board stepped in and decided instead to put Mason on paid leave while a committee looked into the situation. Judge Dan Moore headed up that committee. He says they started with one issue and uncovered several more.
“Several people came to these meetings with a lot of other documentation and brought out a number of other issues,” he explained to the board.
Judge Moore outlined problems between staff, communication and comp time issues, and confusion over the chain of command. He handed out a list of expectations for Community Corrections and its staff.
“It needs to flow better with the Sheriff’s department, it needs to understand that the prosecutors make the final call,” he said.
Staff will need to complete development and diversity training and the program will be separated from the Unified Probation Department. The two had been combined in 2012.
“That was an experiment that, well-intentioned, didn’t work,” Moore explained.
Presented with the committee’s findings, the board voted and Mason was reinstated as Director. Mason and the rest of the corrections program will have six months to meet the board’s expectations.
Mason will go back to work Friday morning. Judge Moore says they did uncover evidence of problems with time cards. They handed that evidence over to the Prosecutor’s office, which will decide if it warrants criminal charges.