Weeks after federal prosecutors arrested 80 people in a widespread bribery and drug conspiracy inside a Maryland prison, two senior Corrections Department employees who helped in the probe say they have been fired.
Steven F. Geppi, the agency’s director of investigation, intelligence and fugitive apprehension, and Debra Gonzalez Morin, the chief of intelligence, said they were told on Tuesday that “their services were no longer needed.”
They said the state Department of Corrections is also investigating several other employees who work in their former division.
Gerard M. Shields, a Department of Corrections spokesman, confirmed Wednesday that Geppi and Gonzalez Morin are no longer working for the department.
Shields said their departures were not connected to the three-year investigation at Eastern Correctional Institution, in which prison guards were accused of smuggling drugs, cellphones and tobacco into the prison in exchange for money and sex.
Corrections Secretary Stephen T. Moyer received a complaint involving Geppi and Gonzalez about two weeks ago, Shields said, and the two were placed on administrative leave. Shields would not elaborate on the nature of the complaint, only describing it as misconduct.
The Maryland State Police internal affairs division investigated, he said.
“[Moyer] was disturbed by the allegations, and as a result he took swift action,” Shields said. The investigation is ongoing.
Geppi said in an interview Wednesday that he was told a couple of weeks ago that someone filed a complaint against him, but he was not told what the complaint was about.
“I’m not sure about the circumstances, because I wasn’t given a reason,” Geppi said.
Geppi said he has since learned that about a half-dozen other employees who worked in his division have been suspended.
Geppi and Gonzalez Morin said they think that their investigative work, which has resulted in more than 200 guards and correctional officers losing their jobs in the past couple of years, led to the allegations against them.
“It’s my opinion we made an awful lot of enemies,” Geppi said.
Gonzalez Morin, who has worked for the department for 16 years, said the complaint, investigation and dismissal came as a surprise.
“Two weeks ago, we were shining stars. They loved us,” Gonzalez Morin said. “They wanted to give us citations. It was just amazing. And now this . . . It is just ludicrous.”
Also on Tuesday, John Spiroff, who led the corrections department’s internal and investigative division, left his position.
Shields said Spiroff’s departure was not related to the investigation that involves Geppi and Gonzalez Morin.
Geppi, who worked for the department for the past 20 months, was the supervisor for both Spiroff and Gonzalez Morin. Spiroff could not immediately be reached for comment.
“I don’t know what they are going to do now,” Gonzalez Morin said of the corrections agency. “They are taking out all the people who fought corruption. All the skill set has been let go or is under investigation.”