Former detention center officer appeals termination

A former Quay County Detention Center officer accused of giving the wrong medicine to inmates appealing told Quay County Grievance Board members she shouldn't be fired because others have made the same errors.

"There have been mistakes made before by others, I am not the only one to make this type of mistake," said Barbara Jiminez, who was appealing her termination.

Jiminez was fired Oct. 29, 2012 as a result of a fourth incident of administering the wrong medication to an inmate, said Don Rich, QCDC administrator.

Rich outlined the cause for Jimenez's termination to the board citing three prior incidents before the one on last Oct. 18, 2012. Rich said in the last event, an inmate was given seven prescription pills that were not theirs.

Rich said Jiminez had been warned and disciplined for the prior three incidents.

Rich said the third incident involved Jiminez allowing an inmate to administer insulin for their low blood sugar when the inmate had in fact been taken off insulin by medical personnel earlier. He said this resulted in Jiminez being removed from the duties of giving out medication for three months.

"These two last incidents could have resulted in great bodily harm and or death," Rich said. "After this last incident, we reviewed the medical logs to determine how the wrong medication was given."

Jiminez argued that she was not contacted the day of the incident, and informed the board she was fired several days later after she had returned from days off.

Rich said he and his staff were reviewing the logs to determine who was on duty when the medication was given out. He said once it was determined it was Jiminez, he approached County Manager Richard Primrose to discuss liability on the part of the detention center and a course of action.

"We followed procedure and policy in regards to her termination," Rich said.

Rich said the reason for her termination was explained to Jiminez as well as her right to appear before the grievance board to appeal the decision.

Jiminez addressed a letter to Primrose, saying she was wrongfully terminated and accused former co-workers and administration of sexual, racial and ethical discrimination during her employment at the jail.

One of the accounts by Jiminez alleges that administration tasked her with cleaning, saying "She is a woman and that is the only thing a woman is good at doing."

"Myself nor any of my officers have never made those types of remarks, nor would they ever address anyone in that matter, "Rich said.

Jiminez accused Lt. Chris Burch of stopping by her residence after she had called in sick in order to " make sure she was actually home."

Rich said Burch was acting under his orders. Rich said he told Burch to go to Jiminez house to deliver a Christmas gift, which he and the other administrators had purchased for her.

Jiminez chose not to rebut or comment to the board following Rich or Burch's testimony. When asked by the board if she had any further comment she simply stated "No, thank you for your time."

Asked by Quay County Sun if she had any comment, Jimenez said, "No, I don't have anything to say, it's a silly matter anyway.

"Besides," she said, "what can you say about lies?"

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