Cites Warden’s Failures and Fallout on Covid 


(BRIDGETON, NJ) – Cumberland County Freeholder Jack Surrency today called on Warden Richard Smith to resign his position in a two-page 424 word letter.


It’s taken Warden Smith six months to mandate jailwide testing and seven and half to order proper PPE,” said Freeholder Jack Surrency (D-Bridgeton). “The result of his failed leadership is well documented in the headlines of our local papers: over 70 inmates and staff infected with Covid.”


In his letter to Warden Richard Smith, Surrency writes:


Specifically, you stated at our May 19 meeting that my proposals were unnecessary because Covid-19 wasn’t an issue at the jail. A week prior, you commented to The Press of Atlantic City: “While COVID-19 has been an unprecedented epidemic, the control of infectious disease is part of our standard operations…” 


“Warden Smith refused to prepare for the pandemic,” said Surrency. “And, more importantly, he refused to adopt a policy to test, treat, and track Covid. Think of where we would be if he endorsed and implemented those proposals.”


Surrency closed his letter with this:


Warden Smith, this isn’t just a letter, it’s a highlight reel of your failures to protect the men and women of corrections under your watch – COs, nurses, food service workers, and inmates.


To me, it couldn’t be clearer that your arrogance and ego put the health and safety of our inmates and staff at risk. The headlines don’t lie.


For the good of the agency, for the good of the county, and for the good of humanity, I’m calling on you to submit your resignation. Leave your keys and credentials on the desk.   

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