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Noem fires prison warden, deputy following harassment claim

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) speaks during a news conference February 3, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Noem spoke at the news conference along with House GOP leaders to discuss issues related to jobs and responded to the latest unemployment figure, a rate of 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years, that was released this morning. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has fired the warden and deputy warden of the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls after an investigation into an anonymous complaint. The complaint alleges that supervising corrections officers regularly sexually harassed their fellow employees and that attempts to report harassment were ignored. The governor had suspended Darin Young, the former warden, on Tuesday, along with Secretary of Corrections Mike Leidholt. Noem said Thursday she has also suspended Stefany Bawek, who was the director of a prison work program called Pheasantland Industries. Requests for comment left at phone numbers listed for Young, Jennifer Dreiske, the former deputy warden, and Bawek were not immediately returned.


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