A 25-year-old guard assigned to the George R. Vierno Center at Rikers Island was arrested after she was busted attempting to smuggle cigarettes, booze and pot to inmates.
As Teneya Griffith was arrested, fellow guards — who dimed her out to jail authorities — actually applauded.
A jail source was quoted as saying, “When they handcuffed her and escorted her out of the building, several officers began clapping. It’s good to see now that the officers are giving up their corrupt colleagues.”
Jail authorities say Griffith attempted to smuggled the “goodies” in for two inmates who paid her $400 and $500 for the contraband. Apparently,Griffith obtained the goods from the mother of one inmate and an unidentified relative of the other inmate.
The daring guard was searched as soon as she arrived to work her shift on Thursday. It was then that police found three sandwich bags holding a total of 2 ounces of marijuana, then the cigarettes, three water bottles filled with Vodka and some loose tobacco.
When questioned by the New York Daily News, Joan Griffith, Teneya’s grandmother was “shocked” and had this to say about her granddaughter, “I can’t see her doing something like that. She’s a good person.”
Griffith has been arraigned at the Bronx Criminal Court and is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. She has been charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, official misconduct and first degree promotion of prison contraband, a felony that could land her in prison for up to seven years.
When busted by police,Griffith, who had been on the job since January 2007 and was still in a probationary employment period allegedly told them, “”I know I shouldn’t have done it. This is poor judgment, “
Griffith, who is from the East New York section of Brooklyn, reportedly earned $57,000.00 a year as a guard, has been fired from the jail.
Griffith’s arrest came on the heels of another embarrassing incident involving a guard at Rikers Island. Last month, a guard at the jail’s North Infirmary snapped a photo of a zonked-out guard with a cell phone.
The photo shows the guards head back, eyes closed, arms folded and mouth gaping as an inmate stands over her. The snoozing guard, 30-year-old Nadja Green was described by a Rikers official as being the “Precious of Corrections,” a reference to the movie “Precious” starring comedian Mo’Nique.
Deputy Commissioner Stephen Morello said Claudel Barrau, the guard who snapped the photo and Green both violated rules: Green for sleeping, Barrau for having a cell phone at work and for taking a photo. Charges will be filed against both officers with the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Barrau was suspended December 23.
Mike Skelly, a 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. It was totally inappropriate, for Barrau to take Green’s photo.” Skelly said.