Leaders of a state corrections' internal affairs unit said it was shut down because they "found out too much" about abuses at Lincoln Hills, and it made the agency look bad.
The Office of Special Operations dug up alleged abuses of juvenile inmates by staffers, which led to an ongoing federal probe and a lawsuit that resulted in orders for the state to improve its procedures. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel obtained documents in which former unit head Steve Wieringa and investigations' chief Cheryl Frey told a policy adviser they were doing "too good," and that's why the unit merged into a group aimed at reducing sex assaults in prisons. Corrections spokesman Tristan Cook says the allegation has "no credence." State Senate Democrat LaTonya Johnson says it's an effort by Republicans to cover up what she called Governor Scott Walker's "mishandling" of the situation.