Agent accused of trading bus passes and gift cards

A former parole agent has been arrested on suspicion of trading bus passes and gift cards for a parolee’s prescription painkillers in Huntington Beach, officials said Thursday.

Scott Patric Keblis, 49, of Chino was charged with felony embezzlement by a public employee and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.

 

Keblis, who faced up to four years in custody, was released Thursday after posting $20,000 bond, prosecutors said.

At the time of the alleged crime, Keblis was a parole agent for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. On Nov. 5, that agency got an anonymous tips that Keblis was providing passes in exchange for prescription narcotics, prosecutors said.

On Nov. 23, Keblis obtained two bus passes and two $40 Target gift cards from the Department of Corrections, claiming he needed to give them to a parolee under his supervision, prosecutors said.
But later that day, he instead drove to Huntington Beach and met with a different parolee who was not under his supervision, prosecutors said. Keblis was accused of trading the passes, gift cards and $30 of his money for 26 of the parolee’s prescription hydrocodon pills.

Keblis was arrested Wednesday by the Department of Correction’s Internal Affairs


“Change”

“Change is good”, that seems to be the new catch phrase amongst some CDCR Managers and Supervisors. However, that’s just a code word for “You’re being moved for no apparent reason, other than putting one of the Kids in your spot”.

Should there be oversight in what some of the Wardens are doing at their Institutions? Most Chief of Police’s have oversight committees or groups that monitor department problems or complaints. However, in our department some Wardens run wild and do whatever they want.

Let’s take for instance hiring practices! Do some Wardens circumvent the promotional ranking system? Like by sending one of the kids to Blythe on a promotion (8th or 9th rank) and then transferring them back just after a few months later as a lateral transfer? I also haven’t met too many Wardens that won’t honor a request to delay an interview if that staff member is on vacation! I remember years ago, supervisors would make sure there was racial diversity in their units and on their yards. Today, whatever flavor is in charge will dictate how the hiring is done! This my friends needs to STOP!

I know the biggest topic of discussion at most Prisons is management positions! Back in the day, a supervisor could pick his or her management positions. Somehow this has even changed, at my institution the managers (Warden) now approves management positions! So again the “kids” are given the prime spots! They use to only control ISU, IST and Transportation, but now the Wardens feel like they have to hire the yard cops as well. And yes, the new MOU will help I hope!!!

So like I said earlier in this post “Change is good”. But “Change is good” can also apply to Wardens…………


Just PAY ME!

Vacaville prison guard’s lost check costs taxpayers a tidy sum

VACAVILLE — A lost paycheck at California State Prison, Solano in Vacaville is costing taxpayers nearly $10,000 – according to court documents filed Wednesday.
Merle Deloney worked as a prison guard for 31 years when he retired in December 2014. When he went to get his final paycheck, he got the runaround from prison bureaucrats until they figured out that the paycheck had been lost.
The paycheck was found four months later, in April 2015.

Deloney filed a claim with the State Labor Commissioner saying he had not been paid in a timely way as required by state law.
After an administrative hearing last month, a commissioner ruled Deloney was entitled to a month’s worth of wages from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as a sanction for the long delay. Calculated at Deloney’s hourly wage of nearly $40 an hour, the payout totaled nearly $9,800.


Prop 57

For years, Gov. Jerry Brown could hide behind the fig leaf of a federal court order in turning tens of thousands of convicts loose in a program he called “prison realignment.”
Prisons lost almost one-third of their occupants to county jails and streets all around the state. Most of those released or paroled were so-called “minor” criminals; very few rapists, murderers or armed robbers have won early releases.
This satisfied the courts, which all the way up to the level of the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld an order to reduce prison populations.
Then came the 2014 Proposition 47, which reclassified many previous felonies as misdemeanors carrying far smaller penalties and no “three-strikes” implications. Felony arrests fell to levels unseen in 50 years. One reason: Thefts below the value of $950 are no longer felonies. Because realignment has caused overcrowding in county jails, most thievery at that level goes unpunished; often perpetrators are not even pursued because of police frustration with the changed rules.
One apparent result — and no, the link has not been proven beyond statistical doubt —– is more property crime in many places, while violent crime has remained relatively stable over the last five years. The increase is official; what’s unproven is the direct cause-and-effect link to Proposition 47.
All this is not enough for Brown, who has a new initiative before voters, on the November ballot as Proposition 57. This one allows early paroles for legally defined nonviolent prisoners in exchange for certain achievements and good behavior. The governor spent millions of dollars this spring to qualify his measure, mostly from funds he raised but largely did not spend while winning re-election in 2014.
Brown calls his new measure “straightforward,” saying it will let only judges, and no longer prosecutors, decide which juveniles aged 14 and over to try in adult court. He says it will speed paroles for some nonviolent offenders, while setting up a system of credits allowing inmates earlier releases if they get high school and college degrees while imprisoned, and “take charge of their lives.”
This measure figures to let loose thousands more inmates atop those already released.
What Brown has never said, but a spokesman admitted to a reporter while the initiative petitions were still circulating (at about $5 per valid voter signature) is that some persons convicted of crimes like assault with a deadly weapon, soliciting murder, elder or child abuse, arson and human trafficking might get speedier paroles.
The disingenuous hype Brown applies to his proposal by saying it would affect only “non-violent prisoners who can change their criminal thinking …” might be similar to the outright lie told for years by the state prison department, which denied for years allowing serious violent criminals into inmate firefighting camps, where there is limited supervision. Of course, when that oft-repeated claim was disproven, Brown said nothing and disciplined no one.
No one knows how state parole panels will ever be sure that any prisoner has “changed their criminal thinking,” or whether crime rates might increase under this new Brown plan.
A close Brown aide said almost all those covered under the new initiative also could be affected by realignment. “This has a chance of providing a carrot of early release for them,” the aide said. “It won’t work for everyone. But the alternative is a system offering no incentives for people to straighten themselves out.”
Former seminarian Brown couches his measure in moral terms and maintains California “still does not have a durable plan to deal with prison overcrowding.” His initiative could also save many millions in prison costs.
But at what price? Burglaries are up. Car thefts, too. So is shoplifting. Would other crimes rise with a new flow of inmates leaving prisons? No one knows.
For sure, prosecutors say they’re worried, and not only because this proposition would decrease their authority a bit.