Whistle blower lawsuit alleges sex with minors at juvie center

Whistle blower lawsuit alleges sex with minors at juvie center

A whistle blower lawsuit filed in 2012 against the Juvenile Corrections Center in Nampa is moving forward. Employees at the center argue that violations with staffers are being overlooked.  Attorney Andrew Shoppe, whose filing the case for employees against the juvenile corrections center in Namp says he has pages of depositions about sexual relationships with correction officers and minors at the center.  And he says a lot of those staffers are still working there.

In his lawsuit Shoppe details how one supervisor Julie McCormick was indicted for having sex with a fifteen year old minor at the juvenile center.  Shoppe also says that employees not only have had sex with juveniles at the facility but they have moved in with the victims after they have been released from the corrections center.  Shoppe also described how one of the male minors that had a relationship with an employee, latter got a job at the juvenile center and then had a relationship himself with another juvenile there. 

Shoppe explained that the director of the center, Sharon Harrigfeld wasn't worried about sex with the staffers but more worried about faculty spending too much time with minors. He says the staffers in question are still working at the center.

The attorney says other violations include juvenile on juvenile sexual offences, an employee that has multiple DUI's and is working in the transportation program,  employees playing golf on the clock and padding time cards.

Shoppe says that his main client in the lawsuit that is claiming retaliation as a whistle blower, was fired last month for recording conversations at work.

While the correction center has basically asked for the case to be dismissed, Shoppe says he has new evidence showing that there are around 13 incidents of female staffers having sex with male juveniles since 1998.

The corrections center director says that she is confident that her staff and the procedures she has in place focus on the safety and protection of the juveniles in custody. She states these are tough times for her department and she believes in her staff.