- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) - Fresh off the firing of the warden at the Stillwater state prison, the Department of Corrections named a veteran prison official as his successor Friday.

Eddie Miles, a veteran Minnesota prison employee, will take over as warden of the large close-security men’s prison effective Nov. 2, the Star Tribune reported (https://strib.mn/2eBZl3o).

Miles began his career with the department in 1992 as a corrections officer at the Lino Lakes prison. He went on to work as an investigator, program director and associate warden at Stillwater. He’s since served as warden at the Lino Lakes, St. Cloud and most recently the Faribault state prisons.

Miles replaces Steven Hammer, who was fired this week for violating multiple departmental policies, including those related to sexual harassment and discrimination, e-mail use and the employee code of conduct. The Department has not released details on the nature of Hammer’s rule violations.

“Your actions resulted in a breach of trust and confidence that are required for these positions,” wrote Assistant Corrections Commissioner Bruce Reiser in an Oct. 18 dismissal letter to Hammer.

Hammer had a history of disciplinary actions taken against him. Department records show that Hammer had been disciplined twice for inappropriate relationships with staff.

In one of those instances, then-Assistant Commissioner John King wrote in a 2014 letter of reprimand that Hammer’s relationship with another employee might create rumors among other staff, and give the impression of preferential treatment.

“This situation has resulted in the considerable discussion about your ability to effectively manage the facility and the staff under your direction,” King wrote in 2014.

Hammer has the opportunity to appeal his termination.

He previously worked as warden of the Rush City prison. He took over at Stillwater in March 2015.

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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