Two state senators have introduced a resolution calling for Commissioner of Corrections Marcus Hicks to either resign or be removed from office the Senate today by a 33-0 vote.
State Sens. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) and Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) have previously issued statements calling for Hicks’ ouster in response to allegations of women inmates being beaten and sexually assaulted at the Edna Mahan Women’s Correctional Facility in Clinton.
“The most egregious part is that it all could have been avoided had Commissioner Hicks agreed to the Department of Justice’s proposed settlement, which would most likely have brought federal monitors into Edna Mahan whose presence might have discouraged the brutal January 11th assaults,” Addiego said. “He delayed these changes for months, and we still do not have a consent agreement. Commissioner Hick has blood on his hands, and it is unacceptable that over a month after the attack he has yet to take responsibility for his failures as commissioner and resign.”
Addiego’s opponent in the 8th district Senate race, Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton), has introduced an impeachment resolution and picked up co-sponsors from three Democratic legislators.
Corrado, the Senate Republican conference leader, put some of the blame on Gov. Phil Murphy.
Murphy has declined to fire Hicks and is awaiting the results of an independent probe he ordered.
“The unspeakable atrocities at Edna Mahan leave no doubt that it is time for the commissioner to go,” said Corrado. “It is a travesty that the Governor refuses to hold his administration accountable for failures. Unfortunately, it has come to this. Until Hicks is replaced, it will be impossible to restore trust in the corrections system. Change must begin at the top. Those responsible for the conditions and abuses at Edna Mahon must be held accountable.”
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has charged three corrections officers for their role in a January 11 assault on some women prisoners that led to 32 prison guards and officials being suspended.