Special News 27 Sep 19

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On 13 Sep 19 while conducting a routine review of paperwork, Lt. C. Rist became aware that an inmate made allegations against a current Washington County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Officer.  It was reported that C/O Nathan Hale was providing monetary compensation or credit to multiple inmates, housed in the Washington County Jail.

Deputy Painter began an investigation, initially conducting an interview with the inmate.  Deputy Painter was informed that Nathan Hale had been placing money on the inmate’s account, as well as other inmate’s accounts. During questioning, Deputy Painter asked how Hale was accomplishing this.

It was learned that Hale was using the Keefe Commissary System to refund purchases made from the inmate’s account(s).  Deputy Painter was later able to verify this to be accurate.  Deputy Painter also learned that Hale was using multiple officers’ login credentials to hide his actions.  This was also confirmed by Deputy Painter to be accurate, by viewing video documents showing Hale seated at the terminal used to access the account at the time and date of the fraudulent transactions.

Additionally, Deputy Painter determined none of the refunds were warranted, as the commissary receipts for the inmates, who received the refunds, did not indicate any shortages or damages to items purchased.  Deputy Painter further discovered Hale did not properly annotate on the commissary receipts, the date of the refund, identify which item was refunded, and sign it as the officer who completed the refund.  The investigation also revealed that Hale did not use the correct Keefe Commissary Program and method to complete the refund transaction(s), in an attempt to conceal the refund transaction(s) from jail staff.

An audit of the Keefe Programs was conducted, finding approximately $282.22 was refunded to 7 inmates, using a total of 33 transactions.  Also verified was that Hale intentionally used the wrong Keefe Program to conceal his actions.  This was also verified with Hale having been performing the correct procedures prior to the fraudulent refunds.  These transactions occurred from May 2019 to September 2019.

Nathan Paul Hale, age 24, was arrested and transported to the Washington County Jail where he was charged with theft in office and tampering with records.