Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Tuesday September 28, 1999

Two Albion Correction Officers charged with inmate assault, misconduct

Following a joint investigation by the Division of State Police and the Department of Correctional Services, two Correction Officers at the Albion Correctional Facility were suspended without pay today following their arrests Monday on misdemeanor counts of assault and official misconduct.

Based upon an investigation initiated by the DOCS' Inspector General, state police on Monday charged officers Robert Michienzi, 39, of West Seneca, and Michael George, 37, of Sanborn, with one count each of third-degree assault and official misconduct. The charges stem from an incident between the two Officers and an inmate which allegedly occurred in a recreation yard at Albion at approximately 8 p.m. on September 18. Michienzi and George were issued appearance tickets and are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges at 7 p.m. on October 7 in Albion Town Court. Once criminal charges are filed, it is DOCS policy to defer all comment on the incident leading to the charges to local prosecutors.

As a result of their arrests, Michienzi and George were suspended without pay today from their jobs, and the Department is seeking their dismissals from state service. Prior to his suspension, Michienzi had been on administrative leave since September 24, meaning he was prohibited from returning to work at Albion. George had been on disability compensation leave since September 18, the date the alleged incident occurred. George also was prohibited from returning to his job at Albion.

"I will not tolerate any assault on staff or inmates by anyone," said DOCS Commissioner Glenn S. Goord. "Those individuals who chose to assault staff or inmates can be assured that they will face swift and severe disciplinary sanctions and, where applicable, criminal charges as well.

"For example," noted Commissioner Goord, "the 11 inmates who were found guilty of assaulting staff during the 1997 uprising at the Mohawk Correctional Facility were subjected to swift and severe disciplinary sanctions and saw their prison sentences increased by a total of 65 years, an appropriate response to heinous conduct. At the same time, staff is also well aware that they are subject to criminal penalties if they are found guilty of assaulting inmates. I believe that the rules of proper conduct apply equally to staff and inmates alike in the New York state prison system. There can be no other way."

Michienzi began working for the Department in 1989. He has been assigned to Albion since September 16, 1993, and is currently receiving an annual salary of $39,680. George began working for the Department in 1987. He has been assigned to Albion since December 27, 1990, and is currently receiving an annual salary of $39,680.

Albion is a 1,131-bed, medium-security prison housing females.