Angola Officials Pocketed $160,000, According to Internal Audit!
Another black eye for Angola, aka the Farm, aka the Alcatraz of the South, with two powerful officials accused of stealing big bucks from the prisoner’s recreation committee. That is low. Who got the money? Why, Paypal and Amazon, among other beneficiaries. Convenience was at a premium with these officials- they used an ATM card billed to the committee repeatedly to pilfer funds. Who are these sterling individuals? Former Col. Shirley Whittington and her partner in crime, Lt. Col. Deborah Leonard. Both have resigned and await indictment.
From Wikipedia– It is the largest maximum security prison in the United States with 6,300 prisoners and 1,800 staff, including corrections officers, janitors, maintenance, and wardens. It is located on an 18,000-acre (7,300 ha) property that was previously the Angola Plantations owned by Isaac Franklin in unincorporated West Feliciana Parish, directly adjacent to the Mississippi state line. The prison is located at the end of Louisiana Highway 66, around 22 miles (35 km) northwest of St. Francisville. Angola is bordered on three sides by the Mississippi River. Burl Cain served as the warden from 1995 to March 7, 2016. Death row for men and the state execution chamber for both sexes are located at the Angola facility.
Two audits have discovered varying levels of nefariousness. An internal audit by the state’s correctional department pegged the theft at $160,000 while a legislative audit, which examined a shorter period than the correctional audit’s nine years, found $50,000 missing.
It was only one year ago that long time Angola warden Burl Cain had to resign after allegations surfaced that he had done business with a relative and an associate of two Angola inmates who were seeking special treatment.
Who set up the Employee Recreation Committee? Burl Cain. And even though there were safeguards in effect to prevent stealing, Cain has admitted he didn’t follow his own guidelines.
The Angola Prison Rodeo is world famous. It’s an institution unto itself. Apparently, it was also easy pickings for our crooked duo, who routinely shorted the concession deposits, grabbing an astounding $73,000. Our chummy officials did business between each other, as one purchased a $5,000 Kawasaki four-wheeler from the other, using stolen funds to do so.
I’ve never been to the rodeo but I’ve caught it on YouTube, and it’s as entertaining and professional a rodeo as you’ll ever see. It’s as dangerous as any other rodeo is also, as can be clearly seen in the above photo.
It’s obvious that all this thievery has impacted the inmates, making it even more egregious. The prison swimming pool has been closed for entire summers and hasn’t been maintained properly.