Former Corrections Official Will Help Rebuild Iraq

Former Corrections Official Will Help Rebuild Iraq

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CENTERVILLE, Utah (AP) -- Controversial former Utah Corrections Director O. Lane McCotter has flown to the Middle East to help with the rebuilding effort in Iraq.

McCotter, director of corrections business development for Management & Training Corp. in Centerville, was granted a leave of absence by the company to be part of a criminal-justice reconstruction team appointed by the U.S. Justice Department to assess the Iraqi corrections system and help implement improvements.

McCotter left Salt Lake City May 4 to attend initial training at an undisclosed military site in the U.S. before flying to Kuwait Friday, where he will receive more briefings before moving into Iraq with the team.

"This is a truly historic moment and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist people in need. I look forward to serving my country and the Iraqi people," he said in a news release.

McCotter was corrections director in Texas 1985-87, New Mexico 1987-91 and Utah 1992-97.

He quit the Utah job following controversy over the death of a mentally ill inmate who had been shackled in a restraining chair for 16 hours and questions over management of the prison's medical division and the use of state vehicles.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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