Local News

Wake detention officers lose jobs after inappropriate inmate relationships

Posted March 19, 2014

— Six detention officers have lost their jobs with Wake County's jail this month as the result of an investigation into inappropriate relationships with inmates – including Amanda Hayes, a Raleigh woman convicted last month for her role in a grisly high-profile murder case in 2011.

Sheriff Donnie Harrison, who runs the Wake County Detention Center, said Wednesday that Lt. Linda Hicks resigned March 3 after an internal investigation concluded she violated his office's fraternization policy, which prohibits jail employees from having any kind of relationship with inmates outside the scope of their professional jobs.

An internal investigation into Hicks' relationship with Hayes led to five other detention officers getting fired March 7 for similar behavior with other inmates, Harrison said.

Officials are still investigating to see if there are other cases, he added.

Harrison would not talk about the nature of Hicks' relationship with Hayes, only saying that the sheriff's office began looking at it after receiving a report that a detention officer was showing her favoritism.

Several sources, however, say telephone recordings exist of conversations of a romantic and sexual nature between the two women.

The phone conversations – between Sept. 3, 2012, and Sept. 27, 2013 – happened while Hayes was at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women in Raleigh preparing for her first-degree murder trial in the July 13, 2011, death of her husband's ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson, whose dismembered remains were found in a Texas creek.

Hayes, 41, was convicted Feb. 19 of second-degree murder for her role in the crime and is serving 13 to 16.5 years in prison.

Harrison said he was aware of the phone conversations but didn't know the content. Once Hicks was informed about them, she resigned, he said, and there was no reason to listen to them.

Hicks was a 16-year veteran, hired in June 1997.

Annette James was fired after nearly 8 years on the job and Shaniqua Robinson and Sheila Banks after nearly 2 years. Two other detention officers – Sheree Bates and Lauryn Whittler – had been working for less than five months.

None of the former officers could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Amanda Hayes' attorney, Johnny Gaskins, had no comment Wednesday.

None of the officers were found to have committed a crime, Harrison said, and he found no evidence that any employees were having sex with inmates at the jail.

"We've made very sure from our investigation that nothing like that happened," he said. "Mostly, it was phone calls – infatuation probably. Nothing happened in our jail. We're confident of that."

56 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Bonnie Hoover Mar 20, 2014

    It's time someone did a clean sweep of the Sheriff's Office, starting with the top notch himself. Get rid of those rotten detectives and deputies. I really hope someone runs against Harrison in the NEXT ELECTION. His time should be up . . .

  • Brian Jenkins Mar 20, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Its safe to say you spend all day commenting. Get a job or actually do the one you are at. No wonder you like libs. Am I paying for your internet? Food? housing? I can assume a lot too =)

  • mm13 Mar 20, 2014

    Trust me- Harrison is 100% aware of what is happening below- him. All the affairs and sex that occur within his department and with his deputies. He turns a blind eye and just relocates them-- moves they around the county. Its disgusting they are law enforcement officers and its all lies. WRAL should do a story on what is really happening with the deputies.

  • less_govt_is_better_govt Mar 20, 2014

    As long as the wake county DA keeps turning a blind eye to the on going shenanigans by donnie's good ole' boy internal affairs club this type of conduct will continue.

    At one point deputies could file false charges and even falsify incident reports, but when Donnie got called out he simply changed policy and decided his deputies were not a fault because it was a "policy failure",apparently that is the new government excuse. Sure what they did was dumb but as a policy failure the deputy gets a slap on the wrist and keeps their job.

    Very big blue wall of silence in WCSO

  • Obamacare rises again Mar 20, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Most likely. The old man isn't dead yet.

  • ncguy Mar 20, 2014

    I wonder if Harrison has had one on ones with her?

  • NCisShamed Mar 20, 2014

    "Harrison said he was aware of the phone conversations but didn't know the content. Once Hicks was informed about them, she resigned, he said, and there was no reason to listen to them."

    Are you kidding me! No reason to listen to them? Laws were most likely broken here and these 'detention officers' deserve their day in court.

  • feistyredhead2001 Mar 20, 2014

    "Harrison said he was aware of the phone conversations but didn't know the content. Once Hicks was informed about them, she resigned, he said, and there was no reason to listen to them.
    Hicks was a 16-year veteran, hired in June 1997.
    Annette James was fired after nearly 8 years on the job and Shaniqua Robinson and Sheila Banks after nearly 2 years. Two other detention officers – Sheree Bates and Lauryn Whittler – had been working for less than five months.".... am I reading this wrong or has Amanda really working her way around the system? hahahahha

  • 37 Mar 20, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The word you meant to use was "libel". Words mean things.

  • didisaythat Mar 20, 2014

    View quoted thread



    That big word IF. there does not appear to be evidence of a sexual act.

More...