State responds to Rockview staff member’s complaint

The Department of Corrections, represented by Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Koltash, filed a response in federal court Dec. 5 to a complaint issued by a staff member employed at Rockview state prison.

Melissa Reed initiated a federal civil lawsuit against the Department of Corrections in October. In the complaint filed by Reed, she alleged that she received more than 100 letters from an inmate that were sexual in nature. Requests for added safety measures, like radios, new locks on her office door, and a formal investigation to determine the letter writer were met by a response from prison staff that Reed “man up,” according to the complaint. Reed also was asked if she and others requesting additional safety measures were “scaredy cats,” according to the complaint.

The response from the state acknowledged that Reed received letters but the exact number could not be determined and that the nature of the letters could have “various interpretations.” The department also denied the “man up” response, according to court documents.

Reed also alleged that she was passed over for a promotion that was given to a male employee with less experience in retaliation to her vocal concern for her safety, which the department also denied in the response.

Reed is also requesting compensation and punitive damages, according to her complaint. She filed a similar lawsuit in state Commonwealth Court in 2012.