Investigator: Idaho Prison Medical Records May Have Been Destroyed

Feb 20, 2015

Reports from a state investigator and three staffers at an Idaho prison suggest that inmates' medical records may have been intentionally changed or destroyed in violation of a federal court order.

If the reports from three staffers and an Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses investigator are accurate, the state corrections agency could be at risk of years of sanctions from a federal judge, including years of additional oversight by the court.

The reports surfaced in connection with a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former mental health care provider at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.

The state prison is already under close federal court scrutiny because of a long-running class action lawsuit over substandard health care. The attorney in the whistleblower case, Andrew Schoppe, sent a letter to U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on Thursday to alert the judge to what Schoppe said is the potential destruction of evidence.

Idaho Department of Correction spokesman Jeff Ray said the department couldn't comment on the matter because of the pending litigation.