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Shake-Up at Bedford County Correctional Facility; Warden and Top Aide Suspended

November 30th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

The Tribune-Democrat reports that Bedford County Correctional Facility's warden and a top aide have been abruptly suspended by the county's commissioners — and the state Department of Corrections has stepped in to oversee the facility's operations.  County officials did not elaborate on what prompted their decision to suspend Warden Troy Nelson and deputy Rocky Beranazzoli on Monday, but commissioners acknowledged they reached out to the Department of Corrections to assess prison operations in the aftermath.

“Based on information we received, we believed it was in the best interest of the county and BCCF employees and inmates that Warden Nelson and Deputy Warden Bernazzoli be suspended effective immediately,” the board wrote in a statement to media.

Susan McNaughton, Department of Corrections spokesperson, confirmed that Bobbi Jo Salamon has been appointed by the state to serve as acting warden for the next 30 days while the department reviews the prison's operations.

Salamon has spent decades working for the state Department of Corrections, first as a psychological services specialist and in recent years as deputy superintendent at several locations. She currently serves in that role at SCI-Houtzdale in Clearfield County.

The commissioners board indicated they first reached out to the state Corrections Secretary John Wetzel "earlier this month" seeking Department of Corrections support in assessing their operations.

The board did not specify what spurred the move.

Terms of Salamon's appointment will be part of an intergovernmental agreement between the sides that authorize the DOC to assess operations, the board wrote.

Her salary will be reimbursed by the county, the commissioners said.

After a thorough assessment has been conducted, DOC officials will provide a report outlining any recommendations to the county commissioners.

McNaughton said Wetzel, Salamon and a few other DOC officials met with the county and prison employees earlier Monday.

Afterward, they toured the prison.