LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A member of leadership within Louisville Metro Department of Corrections is calling for the department's director to resign.
Major William Ashby was suspended earlier this month after sending an email. While Ashby would not provide details of the email, he said he sent it because he felt his colleagues were in danger.
"I didn't want the jail to be unsafe that weekend," Ashby said. "We took an oath of office to protect the public, and the guys in there take it very seriously, but they were fed up."
In a pre-termination hearing Monday, Ashby said Director Dwayne Clark has not done enough to improve working conditions in the jail.
"I think Mr. Clark needs to resign," Ashby said. "I think this administration needs to bring somebody in that's capable of giving these inmates the needs that they need and get these officers the pay that they need because, God, they're underpaid."
Since June, the department has been running on a limited staff. As of mid-September, there were more than 120 open positions and about a dozen officers in training to fill those roles.
FOP President Daniel Johnson said they are so understaffed, they will rack up 7,000 hours in overtime just this month. Johnson said inmates need to be spaced out more because officers are dealing with seven to 10 fights a day on the most overcrowded floors.
"Something needs to be done immediately to address these problems," Johnson said.
Johnson said corrections officers have had issues with Ashby in the past because he is in a management position, but said firing him will not help.
"We believe he is being made out to be a fall guy," Johnson said.
LMDC Assistant Director Steve Durham signaled the director has no intentions of leaving.
"Dwayne Clark has been a consummate Corrections professional for over 40 years," Durham said in an emailed statement Monday. "He has spent the last year running our corrections facility through a global pandemic and the worst staffing shortage in recent history. He will continue to better LMDC every day and will weather this storm."