State leaders launch investigation into Angola Prison Warden Burl Cain

RAW: DOC, other agencies investigate Warden Burl Cain

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Corrections held a news conference Friday afternoon concerning allegations of policy violations by Angola Warden Burl Cain. Multiple agencies were represented at the news conference.

James LeBlanc, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, opened the news conference saying several allegations have been made about Warden Cain and they are working with the other agencies, including the Louisiana State Police and the Inspector General's office, in their investigations.

"All the allegations that have been made are serious allegations and we're going to treat them that way," said LeBlanc.

Earlier this week, the head of the Department of Corrections called on Col. Mike Edmonson with the Louisiana State Police to start looking at the Angola warden, who announced last week that he is resigning after more than 20 years at the prison.

Col. Mike Edmonson said during the news conference that "[LSP] deal with the facts." He says that LSP investigators, as well as investigators from the Inspector General's Office have been pulling records, time sheets, etc. from Angola and are looking into the allegations. They are looking into what he called "internal matters."

"We've been pulling information based on time sheets and those types things. We're in the process of looking at and reviewing those," said Edmonson.

Inspector General Stephen Street said he is looking forward to getting to the bottom of the allegations.

While he insists he has done nothing wrong, Cain's decision to step down as head of the country's largest prison comes amid a series of investigative reports by The Advocate newspaper. The reports by the newspaper questioned whether Cain's private business dealings, including a large real estate deal, violated a Louisiana Department of Corrections policy that forbids personal interactions between Department of Public Safety and Corrections personnel and inmates or their families.

Perhaps one of the most damning reports by the newspaper alleged that Cain got a prisoner who was on his deathbed to videotape a murder confession, claiming that he was actually the killer and that another inmate, who was friends with a Cain associate, was not. The videotape was ultimately not used in court and the accused killer is still locked up. The inmate who made the videotape died three days later. A prosecutor on that case called the videotape a "fraud perpetrated on the court."

Cain is also under investigation by the Inspector General. The IG would not say why the warden was being investigated, but confirmed that it has nothing to do with a round of reports from The Advocate.

Leaders say the current state level investigations extend beyond allegations in the newspaper reports.

"We're addressing it as we do, with a criminal eye," said Edmonson.

"This is all about the stability of our department, our employees, and what we're trying to accomplish," said LeBlanc.

There is currently no timeline for the investigation.

WAFB reached out to Burl Cain for comment and he has not returned our calls.

Warden Burl Cain has been the warden at Angola for 21 years. He announced his resignation on December 9, 2015. His last day will be Dec. 31, 2015. Secretary LeBlanc says at this time, there is no talk of removing Cain from his position before Dec. 31.

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