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Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter says a detention deputy has been suspended without pay for an incident that happened at the county's work release center in October.
Easter said two inmates at the work release facility reported on Oct. 9 that they were fondled by a deputy. Information was presented to the district attorney's office on Oct. 15, and a complaint was signed in late November charging James Conklin with unlawful sexual relations. Conklin, a 19-year veteran of the sheriff's department, was arraigned on Dec. 28.
Easter took over in December as the acting sheriff upon the retirement of Robert Hinshaw. Easter will officiallly begin his full term this month after he was elected in November.
Easter is reviewing policies and working to make a number of changes in the jail to make sure that it is as safe as possible for inmates and deputies. He said he has already suspended a couple of policies, pending further review, and efforts are also underway to install a new TV camera system that has recording capability.
Easter said he has been looking into a number of problems in the jail, as well as morale issues in the sheriff's department.