(Shelby County) The interim director of Shelby County Corrections has been selected.
Rod Bowers, a former commander at the corrections center and Shelby County Jail, has 40 years of experience in corrections.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as Interim Director of Corrections. Fortunately, there’s an excellent team at the corrections center to ensure the safety and security of inmates and staff,” Bowers said.
When Bowers was hired in 1972, he worked with inmates with special needs. He was later named director of mental health services, and then chief of care and custody of inmates.
He joined the Sheriff's Office as assistant chief of programs at the Shelby County Jail in 2004.
The 66-year-old, who retired in late 2012, starts Monday.
“Rod is a veteran of the corrections industry. He’s held key leadership positions at both the Shelby County Corrections Center and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. I appreciate his willingness to leave retirement and serve as the Interim Director of Corrections,” Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said.
James Coleman, the corrections director since 2010, resigned Tuesday over alleged relationship misconduct with an employee.
Coleman's career in corrections is filled with accolades, from helping the Shelby County Jail at the CJC achieve accreditation to helping the Shelby County Corrections Center go green. His letter of resignation, however, shows a not so flattering end to his career (read the letter below).
Shelby County said in a statement: “His resignation follows an allegation of relationship misconduct from an employee he worked with. The county brought in an outside investigator to look into the employee’s allegation. The investigation has not yet been completed.”
WREG learned the employee who filed the complaint against Coleman is also gone from the SCCC. Where WREG called and asked for her, the person who answered the phone said she was not there and, from their understanding, had been reassigned somewhere else in county government.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell says the investigation continues even though Coleman is no longer an employee. The mayor's office says that investigation is not criminal in nature but is being done to see what administrative policies were violated.
Since the allegation surfaced, WREG has spoken with other county female employees who shared stories of past complaints against Coleman.
WREG has filed an open records request to view those documents.