According to the Randolph County State’s Attorney’s office, Charles Ray McClard, a corrections officer at the maximum-security Menard Correctional Center, was arrested and charged Monday with bringing contraband into a penal institution by an employee, a Class 2 felony.
The charge claims McClard brought a cell phone into the prison for an inmate and was reportedly paid for the device. Unofficial reports indicate the going rate for a cell phone in prison is between $1,000 and $1,600 each.
Illinois Department of Corrections Spokesman Tom Shaer says the agency immediately placed McClard on paid administrative leave, in accordance with provisions of the AFSCME contract.
According to Shaer, an Employee Review Board (ERB) hearing will be held this week, after which the hearing officer will determine if McClard is to be suspended without pay, pending judicial review.
“If such a determination is made, suspension without pay will be aggressively pursued by the IDOC, at all times in accordance with provisions of the union contract,” says an IDOC press release, which further notes a felony conviction would result in automatic termination.
In addition to the case brought by Randolph County, IDOC continues its own investigate into the matter. If, before judicial action is complete, the agency’s internal investigation determines that McClard has violated IDOC employee policies by bringing contraband into an IDOC facility, he will be immediately terminated at that time.
McClard was hired as Corrections Officer on October 11, 2010, the same capacity he maintained at the time of his Monday arrest. Shortly after being Monday into the Randolph County Jail, McClard received a general release, pending court outcome.
If convicted of the Class 2 offense in Randolph County, McClard could face 3-7 years in prison.