An officer at the Southampton County Jail Farm in Capron is accused of sleeping with an inmate as well as providing him a contraband cellphone.
Corporal Kimberly Nicole Smith was arrested on Nov. 8 following a month-long internal affairs investigation.
Smith Also Tried to Save the Inmate from Punishment, Additional Charges
The investigation also revealed that Smith deleted files related to a fight between the inmate and another prisoner that could've resulted in punishment or additional charges. The investigation was initiated on Sept. 26. Just over a month later, on Oct. 29, a phone was recovered from the inmate by another deputy.
In an interview with investigators, the inmate admitted that Smith had provided the phone to him in order for the two to stay in contact when she wasn't working at the facility, authorities said. He also said the pair had been involved in an ongoing sexual relationship that stretched back to July, according to court documents.
The deputy who uncovered the device told the investigator that when he asked Smith about her relationship with the inmate, she said she'd destroyed the phone and not to worry about it, officials said.
Smith Facing Multiple Charges, Fired from Position
Smith was terminated from her position on Oct. 29. A few days later, on Nov. 1, jail workers realized that a computer file relating to a fight that the inmate had been involved in couldn't be located.
An audit of the records system revealed that Smith had deleted it on Oct. 27, the day after the incident occurred, officials said. The investigator alleged that Smith did it to prevent the inmate from facing possible additional charges.
Smith faces six counts of [having] carnal knowledge of an inmate by a law enforcement officer, removing a government document without authority, providing a cellphone to a prisoner and a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice.
Southampton County Sheriff Josh A. Wyche Sr. wrote an email to the rest of the sheriff's office Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, to formally share with its other members the news of the arrest.
"This was an unfortunate but necessary conclusion to an investigation that started prior to her termination from this agency," he stated. "To everyone that assisted with the investigation," Wyche wrote, "I want to thank you for your dedication to the mission of this agency and to express appreciation for what was most certainly a difficult task as it is never easy to see someone we once called a brother or sister end up on the wrong side of the law."