Employee fired after inmates escape
BATON ROUGE - At least one person working for a private work release management company was fired over the escape of two offenders Thursday.
Specifics about the employee's firing were not release, but company officials told WBRZ Friday - the day after the escape - issues with how the two men got out were resolved by the personnel decision. Louisiana Workforce LLC runs the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office work release program. The facility is located near the jail. It housed Douglas Ellison, 25, and Elwood Billiot, 33, until they walked away Thursday afternoon.
"There were mistakes made on our part," Paul Perkins, a company representative said. "Not the sheriff and not the Department of Corrections."
Perkins said after a worker told Billiot and Ellison they were scheduled to be transferred after the state denied their work release request, they planned their escape.
"They just, they went out the front door," Perkins said. "They went and grabbed a garbage bag, and they acted the way they did always, and walked out the front out there, when they should have been sitting their butts on the bench with hand cuffs on, ready to transfer."
Perkins said the escape was captured on surveillance video.
Perkins said policy was not followed - employees should not let inmates know when they're being transferred and Billiot and Ellison should not have been allowed to wander around.
The state said Billiot and Ellison were denied work release because of their violent records. Ellison was serving time for possession and distribution of methamphetamines; Billiot was in custody on domestic abuse battery charges. The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported Thursday, Billiot was also once a murder suspect for a slaying in Lafayette.
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