Ex-prison manager probed over inmate dealing, phone smuggling
EXCLUSIVE: A former senior manager at Victoria's largest maximum security prison is being investigated for "wheeling and dealing" with inmates and helping to smuggle mobile phones into the facility.
News Corp Australia has been told the ex-employee, who worked in security intelligence at Port Phillip Prison, has been referred to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) over a number of alleged issues.
The manager has been accused of being involved when members of the jail's Tactical Operations Group assaulted a prisoner after lockdown at the prison in Melbourne's west. That assault was believed to be an act of retribution after an earlier incident in which a guard was injured.
The same manager is also understood to be under investigation for supplying personal details of staff members to prisoners.
Corruption authorities have launched an inquiry into allegations managers at the jail "green-lighted" prisoner bashings by guards.
IBAC was called in after the allegations emerged earlier this year.
News Corp Australia has been told CCTV of an area where one bashing happened was not operating at the time of the alleged attack.
Sources say text messages between officers are one element to come under scrutiny in the inquiry.
One staff member has been sacked, and Corrections Victoria is running its own parallel investigation into the claims.
Incarcerated OMCG members are understood to be among those with whom one manager had alleged dealings.
That same manager also had a close connection with an inmate who used to be his neighbour.
A whistleblower told the Herald Sun that claims senior prison figures helped to organise bashings date back as far as 2015, when the prison was under different management.
Some of those under investigation are no longer working in the Victorian corrections system.
The source said inmates were rewarded for providing information, and those who refused would potentially become a target.
It is believed allegations also include allowing inmates temporary access to other units to challenge known rivals.
The move by guards to organise beatings is known as "green lighting" and was allegedly described by certain members of management as "attitude adjustments".
The privately-run prison is operated under contract by British security services company G4S.
A G4S spokeswoman declined to comment on the allegations yesterday.
An IBAC spokesperson said: "For legal and operational reasons, IBAC is not able to comment on this matter."
The prison is Victoria's largest maximum security jail with more than 1000 beds and holds some of the state's most notorious criminals, including Hoddle St killer Julian Knight.