Snoozing Rikers Guard Gets Rude Awakening

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2009  |  Updated 2:00 PM EDT
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Snoozing Rikers Guard Gets Rude Awakening

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If you are a jail guard you probably should close your eyes for too long when you are work.

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A city correction officer took a cell phone photo of his co-worker sleeping on duty, leading to disciplinary action against both of them.

The photo shows guard Nadja Green, in uniform, leaning back in a chair with her arms folded on her chest, eyes closed and mouth open. An inmate is standing next to her, making a "peace" sign.

The photo, published in the New York Post on Tuesday, came to the attention of Department of Correction officials last week, said Deputy Commissioner Stephen Morello. Once it was authenticated, Green was transferred from her post at the Rikers Island infirmary and removed from supervising inmates. The department also did the same to Claudel Barrau, the officer who took the photo.

Phone numbers for Green and Barrau could not be found. Green has been in the department for 4 1/2 years; Barrau for 18 years.

Morello said both officers had violated rules: Green for sleeping, Barrau for having a cell phone at work and for taking a photo. He said the department would be filing charges against both officers with the city's Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.

Mike Skelly, spokesman for the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, said the union wouldn't rush to condemn Green, because it was unclear what the situation was when the photo was taken.

"We don't know what her circumstances may have been. She may have been sick," he said.

He said "it was totally inappropriate" for Barrau to take Green's photo.

The inmate wasn't identified.
 

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