PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The warden of the Armstrong County Jail has been suspended without pay after an inmate escaped last month.
This morning, the Armstrong County Jail Board suspended David Hogue from his $54,000 a year job, while the escape of 38-year-old Robert Crissman is investigated.
Crissman escaped July 30 while delivering breakfast to other inmates as part of the jail’s trusty program. An outside investigator has been hired to review that program and other aspects of the incident.
“The public deserves to know that this board is doing everything it can to make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” said Prison Board Solicitor Jason Lewis.
Crissman, who authorities describe as a drug addict, was given trustee status at the jail. It meant he had access to an unlocked door at the jail, which is how he was able to walk out July 30.
Crissman walked outside to get the meals from a truck and took off. The body of 55-year-old Tammy Long was later discovered beaten and strangled at a nearby home.
“This is tragic,” said Lewis. “This is obviously tragic for the family. The allegation is that he escaped and murdered someone. That’s now what any of us wanted to see.”
On July 31, Crissman was captured after a brief police chase in Boggs Township.
The trustee program has also been suspended.
The board voted to spend $15,000 on an outside agency to come in with an impartial investigation into how it all happened. They think it’s best that the warden’s not around.
“We did not want to compromise the investigation in any way,” said Lewis. “There’s nothing that we expect that anyone would do, including, but not limited to the warden.”