Former Ascension Parish Jail warden sets the record straight about his departure
DONALDSONVILLE- The former Ascension Parish Jail warden, who resigned the same week a deputy was arrested for beating an inmate, sat down with WBRZ to tell his side of the story.
David Dykes said his resignation, along with Chief of Security Jeff Rogilio's resignation, had nothing to do with the fight. Instead, Dykes said it involved the use of tobacco at the jail that he believes was being used to buy illegal narcotics.
Pictures provided to WBRZ show what he described as synthetic marijuana, cotton balls laced with heroin, paper with mojo and other contraband inmates were purchasing with cigarettes.
"I explained to him [Sheriff Bobby Webre] about the narcotics and the cigarettes used to buy it," Dykes said. "He told me he didn't think that it was a good enough reason to take away smoking privileges of all the trusties."
Sheriff Webre paints a different picture of what happened. He said Dykes never requested a meeting before unilaterally changing the smoking policy without telling him.
Things came to a head two weeks ago when the sheriff's office released alarming video that showed a deputy punching an inmate. Dykes resignation and the resignation of the chief of security came the same week as that fight which led to the arrest of the deputy that punched the inmate.
"Not only do I feel like I got grouped in it, it said on the website that I resigned during the investigation," Dykes said. "False. I resigned before the investigation ever started."
Sheriff Webre acknowledged that Dykes resigned over a disagreement with the smoking policy and it had nothing to do with the fight at the jail. He reiterated that when the warden changed the smoking policy he never told him about it.
Currently, Webre said all trusteis are allowed to smoke at the jail if they are brought outside and given cigarettes from a guard. Webre said they haven't had many problems before.
Dykes said 30 inmates recently got sick at the jail after they took a bad batch of synthetic marijuana. They've recently seen drugs coming in the inmates' mail. Dykes said he remains concerned for the safety of those still working there as long as smoking is allowed.