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Crime & Justice

Mecklenburg jail officer fired, charged after being accused of a sex act with an inmate

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has fired yet another detention officer.

The sheriff's office said Tuesday that Karen Payton was fired and charged with engaging in a sexual act with a man being held at the jail and providing another incarcerated person with a tobacco product. In a news release, Sheriff Garry McFadden said the actions Payton are accused of could have compromised the safety and security of the staff and those incarcerated at the jail.

Payton had spent two years with the department.

Two other Mecklenburg County detention officers were fired in recent weeks — one after being charged with assault on Sept. 27 in South Carolina and another who was charged with assault after a Sept. 13 physical altercation with someone being held at the jail and failing to disclose details in a report on the incident.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Payton is at least the fifth Sheriff's Office employee fired in the last five months on after legal charges.

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