A beer at a golf outing draws outcry from Missouri prison guards

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BRANSON MO NEWS: JEFFERSON CITY • A cold can of beer has gotten the director of Missouri’s prison system in some hot water.Guards at the Missouri Department of Corrections are crying foul after agency chief Anne Precythe was pictured at a golf fundraiser holding a can of Budweiser while wearing a shirt emblazoned with the logo of the DOC.The photo posted on Facebook by the Missouri 10-33 Benevolent Fund drew the ire of commenters, who said correctional officers would face disciplinary action if they were pictured doing the same thing in their uniforms.

On Monday, the photo was removed from the post by the organization, which raises money to help the survivors of public safety officers killed in the line of duty. The event was held Sept. 20 at the Redfield Golf Course in Eugene.Gary Gross, executive director of the union representing prison employees, said the concerns expressed by the correctional officers are real.On Tuesday, for example, he said the union was launching an appeal of a disciplinary action against a guard at the maximum-security Potosi Correctional Center who was pictured in his uniform with a beer sitting on a nearby coffee table.Gross said the officer was given a penalty of three days off without pay, even though it wasn’t the guard’s beer.“There have been many, many cases where officers have been disciplined for being around alcohol while in their uniforms,” Gross said.

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Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said Precythe was not wearing a DOC uniform.“This wasn’t a uniform. People can buy these shirts themselves and that’s what she did,” Pojmann said of the shirts, which are made by inmates and sold to state employees.“She’s excited to support this organization,” Pojmann said.Attempts to reach the benevolent fund …



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