NEW YORK (WPIX) — Employees from the Department of Correction allegedly built a secret lounge stocked with stolen equipment inside Rikers Island jail, according to a city investigation.
New York City investigators discovered a secret lounge filled with leather couches, a giant TV screen and a stash of Correction Department equipment in 2020, according to New York Daily News. The lounge was stocked with unused snow blowers, air conditioners and other supplies that could have been used in the jail.
“The items were, in some cases, hidden in a hallway behind a false wall made out of plywood blocked with equipment, or in rooms behind doors secured with combination locks,” the Daily News reported.
The Legal Aid Society says a secret lounge built on Rikers Island by the Department of Correction is a “declaration of war on authority — and the perpetrators got away with it.”
“While incarcerated people suffer in heat emergencies in non-air-conditioned cells, facilities are crumbling from lack of repair, and programming is cut for budget reasons, staff were hiding taxpayer-funded supplies behind hidden walls,” said Mary Lynne Werlwas, the director of the Prisoners’ Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society.
“Corruption by law enforcement and civil rights abuses have gone hand in hand forever, but the brazenness of this scheme and its tolerance by authorities is astounding.”
Authorities have yet to determine exactly who was responsible.