Corrections head says he welcomes audit

Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2008

JUNEAU - Alaska Commissioner of Corrections Joe Schmidt said he looks forward to an audit proposed for his department by two Anchorage state senators.

Democrats Bill Wielechowski and Hollis French asked the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee for the audit.

The lawmakers said allegations of unhealthy and unsafe conditions drove their concern.

The request came after a majority in the corrections officers union passed a vote of no confidence in Schmidt.

Schmidt said he wants the chance to demonstrate that many allegations made by the union are overblown.

Union officials said the audit will force the department to track a dangerous staph infection that is spreading quickly - a claim administrators reject.

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