RCC arrests 2 employees after theft

Published 5:55 am Friday, August 10, 2012

This week, less than a month after Rayburn Correctional Center announced the arrest of an inmate’s father and additional charges for that inmate and another in connection with the introduction of contraband into the prison, it announced the arrest of two former employees on charges of malfeasance.

Cathy Purvis, of Bogalusa, and Janice Brumfield, of Hackley, were arrested Monday after an investigation into thefts from the facility canteen.

Purvis, who resigned on July 23 after putting in 13 years of state service, was charged with 10 counts of malfeasance in office. Brumfield, who began her career with Department of Corrections in 1999 and resigned on July 24, was charged with one count of malfeasance in office.

The theft investigation began on July 18, after it was discovered that food items had been stolen from RCC’s canteen warehouse. It eventually led Purvis, Brumfield and one additional officer to resign, according to Lynn McCloud, RCC spokesman.

After questioning, Purvis and Brumfield admitted that they had received money from an offender housed at RCC, he said.

Purvis reportedly received more than $17,000 from July 2011 until July 2012, while Brumfield reportedly received $1,700 in 2010.

McCloud said that three RCC offenders received disciplinary sanctions because of their involvement in the thefts, and that the investigation into the reason or reasons behind the payments to the officers continues.

The third involved employee has not been arrested at this time, he said.

The maximum possible sentence for a conviction on one charge of malfeasance in office is five years, so Purvis could potentially receive up to 50 years in prison.

Warden Robert Tanner complimented his staff for recognizing the “misdeeds” of the officers involved and taking action to investigate and bring the matter to a conclusion.

“What started as a minor investigation of stolen commissary items eventually led to evidence of the officers accepting money from an offender, which simply is not permitted,” he said. “I am proud of our staff who noted a serious problem and took decisive steps to hold these individuals accountable for their actions.”