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Iowa State Penitentiary staff member taken to local hospital after exposure to unknown substance


This news story was published on April 5, 2019.
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For Madison Penitentiary

FORT MADISON – Earlier Friday, a staff member became extremely ill after coming into contact with an unknown substance. The substance is believed to have come from a bottle of eye drops. Other staff at the institution quickly quarantined the substance, and the staff member was taken to the local hospital. Her condition has stabilized, and she has been released to recover at home.

The substance that is suspected to have caused the staff member to become ill has been submitted to the State Crime Lab in Ankeny for testing by the Division of Criminal Investigations.

This incident remains under investigation.

Also Friday, the Iowa Board of Corrections voted unanimously in support of the appointment of Randy Gibbs as the next warden of the Iowa State Penitentiary (ISP). This appointment was recommended to the board by Interim Director Dan Craig. Gibbs will replace retiring warden Patti Wachtendorf on May 23, 2019.

Gibbs, currently the warden of the Clarinda Correctional Facility (CCF), has served in his current capacity since May of 2017. He started his career with Iowa Corrections as a Correctional Officer at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in 1991. Throughout his career he has held such positions as: Lieutenant, Captain, Training Officer, Treatment Services Director, Associate Warden of Security, and Assistant Deputy Director of Institutional Operations.

Commenting on the approval by the board, Dir. Craig said, “Warden Gibbs has a track record of providing outstanding leadership and dedication throughout his long career with Corrections. The Iowa State Penitentiary will be in good hands with Warden Gibbs’ commitment to providing a safe and positive environment for our ISP team members, and a secure and rehabilitative environment for the incarcerated men.”

When Gibbs takes on the role of Warden at ISP, Stephen Weis, the Deputy Warden of the Clarinda Correctional Facility will take on the duty of Acting Warden at CCF.

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15 Responses to Iowa State Penitentiary staff member taken to local hospital after exposure to unknown substance

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 8, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    you guy’s are dumb as hell.way to stay on topic

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 7, 2019 at 10:27 am

    When you are guaranteed your job no matter how incompetent you are, why worry? Just cry to your union steward and wait, you’ll get your job back.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 8, 2019 at 7:40 am

      Do you feel the same for the police officers who were hospitalized after coming in contact with fentanyl?

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 7, 2019 at 2:17 am

    WTF I didn’t see a single “union” in the whole story, just another sorry ass that wished he belonged to a union so he could make the “big” money

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 7, 2019 at 9:05 am

      Stay in the union and they will eventually force your job to go away.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        April 7, 2019 at 9:06 am

        Don’t believe that? Ask Holcim, Deckers, The Brick Yards and many many more.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 6, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Damn, these union people are terrible at their jobs. It’s always something with them.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 7, 2019 at 7:41 am

      Yeah, it’s always something.

      Last week, a Union man, a military vet, a husband and father, doing his job, put himself in harms way, to keep a mother and her young child from getting hurt. He lost his LIFE to a three time drunk driving the wrong way on a major expressway.

      The week before, a Union woman was doing her job, a routine traffic stop. Someone took her LIFE! No longer will her husband wait for her to come home after a shift.

      Yeah, it’s always something isn’t it? Your disdain for people is beyond contempt. Yet, I take pity on people like you who have zero compassion and understanding.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        April 7, 2019 at 5:05 pm

        The next time I need some wine, I’ll invite a union worker to over and have him/her change some water into a nice merlot, or a sauvignon blanc. I wonder how they are on walking on water.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          April 7, 2019 at 7:19 pm

          What’s the word? THUNDERBIRD! What’s the price? 40 TWICE!

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        April 7, 2019 at 8:48 pm

        Ya, ya, ya, union workers can walk on water and raise the dead. Just too bad they don’t work for a living like the rest of us. Truth hurt??? That why you keep deleting my post???

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          April 7, 2019 at 10:03 pm

          What is it? Jealousy?

          I see nothing wrong with a group of employees getting together and negotiating terms of their employment. If it brings them better wages, working conditions, benefits, why not?

          Or are you the kind of person who will settle for what scraps an employer wants to toss your way? Long hours, minimum pay, no benefits, no protection from arbitrary or political dismissals.

          We see what that has brought about for average wage earners today. People who cannot afford their own homes, cannot buy new cars, cannot save for the future, who live paycheck to paycheck. Is that the dream you envision for the U.S.?

          It has already gone that direction since the 60’s, when one paycheck was able to sustain a household. Now, you need two or three per household to just survive.

          That has done wonders for society, for our community, now hasn’t it?

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            April 8, 2019 at 7:05 pm

            You talk about wage earners today who can’t afford things. Live in homes you can afford, not big houses in the nicest part of town. How much was their cell phone and how much is there cell phone monthly bill? What kind of car do they drive, and do they have cable? I was always taught that when you got your paycheck, pay yourself first and force yourself to live off the rest. It isn’t easy, and it sure isn’t fun, but it is possible. Just live within your means. It’s really very simple. Oh yes, and be sure to cancel those credit cards.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        April 8, 2019 at 8:39 am

        THANK YOU

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 7, 2019 at 11:33 am

      so…you saying it would not happen if they were not union?