Gov. Ducey Looks At Arizona Department Of Corrections Director's Resignation As A New Opportunity

By Holliday Moore, Steve Goldstein, Lauren Gilger
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 8:22am
Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 2:48pm

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Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan.

With the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections scheduled to step down Sept. 13, Gov. Doug Ducey sees an opportunity to make a "fresh start."

Ducey weighed in after two former Arizona Supreme Court justices published a report on long-standing problems during Director Charles Ryan's 40-year career at the ADC.

Most recently: broken locks and lax security, attacks on inmates and detention officers, overworked and underpaid staffing, and a culture preventing staffers from reporting problems to their supervisors for fear of job retaliation.

The judges found Ryan "surprisingly uninformed." And Ducey, by association, was therefore also in the dark.

"If you look at the report, you'll see there are some things that had not gotten to the director. And what the director doesn't know of course he can't get to me," Ducey complained.

He said the report does a good job, "of dissecting what the problems were. And now it's time to take action."

Ducey said he sees it as an opportunity to start fresh by casting "a wide net" with a nationwide search for candidates.

Howie Fischer with Capitol Media Services talked to the governor about what happens next, and he joined the show to discuss.

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