The Latest: Report of disturbance at Kansas prison disputed
July 30, 2017
EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the latest disturbance at a maximum-security Kansas prison (all times local):
A spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections says it has found no evidence of a significant episode of unrest at a state prison reported earlier by a union for state workers.
Department spokesman Todd Fertig said Saturday it investigated whether a group of inmates refused to follow orders Friday evening and did not find that such an incident occurred.
The report that such an incident occurred came from the Kansas Organization of State Employees in a tweet Friday evening. Executive Director Robert Choromanski said the information came from an employee monitoring emergency communications.
Choromanski said Saturday that the incident appeared to be resolved within a half hour.
Fertig did report that there were two separate inmate-on-inmate altercations Friday, each resulting in an inmate injury.
The warden a maximum-security Kansas prison that's had four reported disturbances in recent months took a new job within the state Department of Corrections before the latest incident.
Department spokesman Todd Fertig confirmed Saturday that James Heimgartner left his job as warden of the El Dorado prison Thursday. Fertig had no further information about Heimgartner's new position in the department.
He did not comment on what led to the change.
The new acting warden at El Dorado is Dan Schnurr. He is warden at a maximum-security prison in Hutchinson, about 60 miles to the northwest. Fertig said Schnurr will keep his duties at Hutchinson while the department looks for a permanent warden for El Dorado.
The latest El Dorado incident occurred Friday evening and was reported to have been resolved quickly.
A union official says the latest disturbance at a maximum-security prison in southern Kansas was controlled quickly.
Robert Choromanski, who heads the Kansas Organization of State Employees, said Saturday that the Friday evening incident at the El Dorado prison appeared to be resolved within a half hour. He says he obtained information from a prison employee who was monitoring emergency communications.
Choromanski says a special security team was called to the prison Friday evening after 30 inmates refused to stand down. No other information was available.
It was the fourth reported disturbance within three months.
Department of Corrections spokesman Todd Fertig declined to comment on the incident.
He says two inmates were wounded at El Dorado earlier Friday in an altercation and one had puncture wounds, but no employees were injured.
A senior union official says there has been another inmate disturbance at the troubled El Dorado prison in Kansas, the fourth incident in three months.
Robert Choromanski, Kansas Organization of State Employees executive director, says that a Special Security Team was called to the prison on Friday evening after 30 inmates refused to stand down. He says the information came from a prison employee who was monitoring emergency communications. No other information was immediately available.
Todd Fertig, Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman, could not be reached for comment. He told the Kansas City Star that two inmates were wounded at El Dorado earlier Friday, one with "several puncture wounds." He says no employees were injured. He did not respond to a question from the Star about the reported evening disturbance.