DRAPER — Officials say 80 state inmates at the Daggett County Jail were moved to the Utah State Prison in Draper on Friday because of "allegations of misconduct by jail employees."
The Utah Department of Correction issued a statement saying three inmates were also immediately removed from the facility following an inspection there on Feb. 3.
"Upon learning of the claims of inappropriate behavior involving Daggett County employees, the UDC took immediate action to ensure the environment was safe for the state inmates who were housed at the jail," the department said in the statement.
The investigation into circumstances at the jail is being aided by the FBI, Utah Attorney General's Office and Police Officer Standards and Training.
"A final decision on the future placement of inmates in Daggett County will be made once the situation is resolved," the Department of Corrections said in its statement.
“At this time, we do have two employees that have been placed on paid administrative leave,” said Daggett County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Susie Potter. “The investigation is ongoing, so I’m not really sure if there will be any more, but at this point, there are two.”
The Utah State Prison has sufficient space to appropriately house the inmates who were moved Friday, as well as the three who were moved on Feb. 3, corrections officials said.
“Through close monitoring of our jail contracts, we have confidence these allegations are isolated to one county,” said Rollin Cook, executive director of the Department of Corrections. “We will continue to work with the sheriff toward a resolution and appreciate his cooperation from the beginning of this issue.”
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Maria Peterson told KSL that "a small amount of the inmates were being mistreated by jail employees," but didn't provide more specifics.
"We will have more (information) in the next few weeks about what exactly happened," Peterson said. "Our primary concern is putting the safety of the inmates first until the situation can be resolved correctly.”
The Daggett County Jail came under question in 2007 after two inmates escaped the facility. Six days later, after the men burglarized a cabin in the area, tied up the owner and stole his SUV, they were arrested following gunfire exchange with police in Wyoming.
All inmates were removed from the jail at that time and a legislative audit concluded that security problems there were "systemic" and "significant."
Anyone with questions about inmates who were at the Daggett County Jail can call the Department of Corrections at 801-545-5536.