Correction officers slam top city jails officials over coronavirus response

By: 
Tina Moore and Ruth Weissmann

Correction officers are slamming top city jails officials on social media for dodging their concerns as coronavirus sweeps through city jails, images obtained by The Post show.

“Please help find! Missing person,” reads an image posted to Facebook depicting Commissioner Cynthia Brann. “If you have any information call a New York City Department of Correction officer.”

Also pictured is Deputy Commissioner of Quality Assurance and Integrity Patricia Feeney, whose photo is seen on a milk carton labeled “Missing.”

The leaders have been quiet amid complaints of poor virus protocol within the department — including reports of sick officers forced to return to work against doctors’ orders and under threat of pay cuts, sources told The Post.

“These pictures clearly reveal the frustrations of a workforce that has lost faith in their leadership, particularly with Brann who has not been seen or heard from in weeks,” a source familiar with the situation said. “Lives are on the line and she’s nowhere to be found.”

A spokesman for the department said the commissioner has been “working tirelessly.”

“Commissioner Brann is working tirelessly to keep all those in our facilities safe throughout this unprecedented health crisis,” said DOC spokesman Peter Thorne. “Under her leadership, the department has enacted a robust COVID-19 response plan to fully enforce social distancing measures and heighten sanitization in all of our facilities. She is doing everything she can to support all members of this department who are doing a heroic job under extraordinary circumstances, and any claim otherwise is false.”

The social media slam comes after 23 jail employees filed a court petition Thursday claiming the city is putting staff’s health at risk and alleging workers had been subjected to “undue exposure to the COVID-19 toxin” on the job.

As of Saturday, 562 DOC employees had tested positive for the virus — and another 318 inmates had contracted the deadly disease, officials said.