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'Sick out' at North Las Vegas jail forces release of 70 inmates

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Updated: 5/29/2012 12:13 pm
NORTH LAS VEGAS (KNSV MyNews3) -- News 3 has confirmed with North Las Vegas Police Department Sgt. Tim Bedwell that 70 inmates were released from the North Las Vegas Jail on Thursday.

Bedwell says dozens of corrections officers calling in sick has left the jail unstaffed and unable to manage inmates. City leaders made clear some correction officers at the jail would be laid off to save the city money.

Bedwell said he believes that when workers heard they might be receiving pink slips, some correction officers didn’t show up to work.

Bedwell says the sick out forced the department to cover 49 shifts in overtime last week and that was a cost the department could not afford. These inmates are non-violent offenders with misdemeanors.

Leonard Cardinale, the president of the Police Supervisors Association, says union workers should remain professional during these tough budget times. However, he said he believes corrections officers at the jail are working under a hostile work environment.

Cardinale says the sick out does not surprise him.

City manager Tim Hacker calls the stunt "unfortunate." Hacker says inmates are released all the time from the jail, but all the sick leave put undue pressure on the jail staff.

Check for updates on this story here and at News 3.
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