Former Religious Services Worker at Federal Jail Pleads Guilty to Passing Unauthorized Information and Benefits to Inmates
CHICAGO — A former religious services assistant at the downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center pleaded guilty today to providing sensitive information to inmates about fellow prisoners in the federal corrections system.
TOMMY HAIRE, 34, performed unauthorized searches on the MCC’s internal computer system to obtain personal information about several prisoners being housed elsewhere, and then relayed that information to inmates in the MCC, according to a plea agreement. The searches revealed various data, including the outside inmates’ psychological information, their status as sex offenders, their location within the prison system, and other personal identifying items. Haire admitted in the plea agreement that such information would be valuable to the MCC inmates as a means of extorting the other prisoners or for committing identity and tax fraud against them.
Haire, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of conversion of government property. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason scheduled a sentencing hearing for February 2, 2016.
In addition to obtaining the sensitive information of other prisoners, Haire also used his position to provide perks to MCC inmates. According to the plea agreement, Haire allowed the inmates to use his computer to surf the Internet, and to use his cellular phone to place calls outside of the jail. He also mailed letters on behalf of inmates, in violation of the MCC’s rules on screening prisoners’ correspondence.
The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and John F. Oleskowicz, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Field Office.
The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsay Jenkins and Maureen Merin.