The warden of a South Florida prison has been suspended two years after the death of an inmate left in a scalding hot shower.
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews said Thursday he has placed Dade Correctional Institution Warden Jerry Cummings on paid administrative leave.
The announcement comes after civil rights groups were calling for a federal investigation into the June 2012 death of mentally-ill inmate Darren Rainey.
According to a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and other groups to the U.S. Department of Justice, Rainey was locked in a closet-size shower stall at the Dade Correctional Institution in June 2012 as a form of punishment. He was left unattended for two hours with scalding hot water that later measured as high as 180 degrees. The shower was so hot that his skin separated from his body.
"I am troubled by the allegations surrounding Dade Correctional Institution and feel a change at the facility is necessary for restoring accountability across the department," Crews said in a statement. "This morning I also met with correctional officers in the facility and underscored that the integrity of the department will not be compromised by any bad actions. Any actions of abuse that are witnessed, or are known about, that go unreported will make those DOC staff who witnessed them equally guilty."
Crews is also seeking the assistance of the Miami-Dade Police Department to help with the death investigation.