Warden doesn’t know why dental instructor was retained

A women’s prison warden says she doesn’t know why the Kansas Department of Corrections retained until December a dental lab instructor who was accused of sexually harassing an inmate two years ago.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Wednesday that Warden Shannon Meyer recommended firing Tomas Co after an internal investigation in early 2017.

Co supervised a program teaching inmates to make dentures. He was charged last month with seven counts of unlawful sexual relations involving female inmates.

The Capital-Journal says state and federal auditors recommended Co’s firing after the 2017 incident but he continued to work until he was placed on administrative leave in November 2018.

Interim corrections department Secretary Roger Werholtz, appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly in January, says current leadership would have dismissed Co based on the 2017 investigation.