State News

SBI investigates Dix Hospital sex allegations

Posted April 17, 2009 5:53 a.m. EDT
Updated April 17, 2009 3:40 p.m. EDT

— Three employees at Dorothea Dix Hospital have been fired and a fourth resigned amid an investigation that some had sex with female prisoners working there, officials said Friday.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case to determine whether criminal charges are warranted, Secretary of Health and Human Services Lanier Cansler said in a statement.

During an internal DHHS investigation, officials found that employees at Dix had enabled inmates from the Raleigh Correctional Center for Women to set up bank accounts, access e-mail and make unauthorized phone calls, Cansler said.

The internal investigation will continue to determine whether other disciplinary action needs to be taken, he said.

The female inmates worked at Dix as part of a Department of Correction program. DHHS and DOC are reviewing the program to determine whether it will remain in place, Cansler said.

DOC spokesman Keith Acree said 13 inmates had been working at the mental hospital. All inmates have been removed from those assignments, he said.