Vaughn warden placed on administrative leave

A shake-up in leadership at the Delaware prison where inmates held correction officers hostage earlier this month.

Vaughn Correctional Center Warden David Pierce has been placed on administrative leave after the death of a correctional officer during that hostage situation in early February. Pierce is still getting paid while on leave.

Deputy Warden Phil Parker has been named acting warden until further notice.

It’s not clear why Pierce was placed on leave. Department of Correction officials would not comment, saying personnel records are private. 

Delaware State Police are still investigating the hostage siege which resulted in the death of correctional officer Lt. Steven Floyd. He was killed during the nearly 19-hour hostage siege at the Smyrna prison on Feb. 1-2.  Floyd, two correctional officers and a female counselor were taken hostage.

Last week, a federal lawsuit was filed by an inmate at Vaughn Correctional. Donald Parkell claimed tactical responders who stormed the prison to end the inmate uprising injured nearly every prisoner in the building. DOC officials have refused to confirm or deny details outlined in Parkell’s lawsuit.

An independent review ordered by Governor John Carney will examine what led to the incident after the police investigation concludes.

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