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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Be Careful Of Your Sources

by capper

In an column written by Eugene Kane, he discusses the late night hours which recently ended at the House Of Corrections. In his article, he has some quotes from Richard Cox, the former superintendent of the HOC. From my understanding, Mr. Cox was a well-respected administrator at HOC and a lot of officers were sad to see him leave that position. However, Mr. Cox has been out of the system for the better part of a decade, and it would seem that a lot of things have changed since then.

An example would be that Mr. Cox is quoted as saying there is only 29 individual cells. That is not accurate. There are about three times that number of individual cells. The column also has this:

"It's a dormitory-style facility," Cox said. When the lights go out, he said, it doesn't make a difference if the inmates are in their beds or congregating among themselves.
I can personally testify that is not true. I have spoken to a friend that still works at HOC and he said that there is a greatly noticeable difference since the late nights have stopped. There are less fights and less disturbances. The inmates that are less prone to want to stay up are also calmer because now they can sleep at night.

Perhaps it is due to the length of time of Mr. Cox's absence from HOC, or the probably longer time since he actually worked a dorm, but the nature of the inmates have changed over the past ten years. They are younger, meaner and more prone to bad decisions. The change in late nights helps the beleaguered officers maintain better control of their dorms and increases safety for the inmates and officers alike.

In a similar fashion, MSJ also has a story about Jack L. Hohrein, the Milwaukee County retirement manager. Mr. Hohrein has filed for the race for County Executive, and states that he feels that County Executive Scott Walker has gone as far as interfering with a criminal investigation by putting the brakes on an independent investigation of the latest pension scandal.

When I first heard this story, I followed up on it eagerly. As anyone who has read most of my postings knows, I am know fan of Scott Walker, and I wondered what kind of stunt Walker was trying to pull now.

However, at this time, I am not going to cover this story, outside of this post. Not because I suddenly like the Tosa Ranger, but because I cannot trust the source of the information. While Mr. Hohrein may be telling the truth, or at least believes he is, he is not a credible source at this time.

The article goes on and informs us that Mr. Hohrein is currently on paid suspension, pending the outcome of an investigation into a complaint of harassment. He also states that he "expects to be fired for speaking out" and that he feels he was only suspended due to comments he made about the investigation. This makes his motivation suspect and makes one wonder if he is coming out with this as an attempt to cover his problems and protect his position with the county.

Like I said earlier, he may be very well telling the truth, but without collaborating evidence, I cannot find him a credible source of information, and will only take his allegations about a cover-up with a grain of salt. But I will continue to follow this story just in case that grain of salt turns into a kernel of truth.

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