Whistleblower: Ariz. DOC director barring use of protective masks

The complaint, which was filed by Lt. Mark Hasz, says COs at Lewis Prison were told they couldn't bring in or wear their own PPE

By Sarah Calams

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — A lieutenant with the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry, has filed a whistleblower complaint claiming that COs have been forbidden to wear masks and other protective equipment in the state's prisons.  

ABC15.com reported that the complaint was filed by Lt. Mark Hasz on March 26 and sent to ADCRR director David Shinn, Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona Department of Health Services director Cara Christ. In the complaint, Hasz claims Shinn told correctional officers at Lewis Prison that they couldn't wear their own PPE during a townhall meeting last week.  

"I was shocked at the response," Hasz noted in his complaint. "Director Shinn confirmed that he had given the order forbidding staff from bringing in and wearing their own PPE." 

In the complaint, Hasz said Shinn gave the order because he believes the masks will scare the inmates. 

"The reasoning is ridiculous and director Shinn's decision is putting the health of the staff, inmates and the general public at increased risk," Hasz said.  

Following the complaint, three state lawmakers sent a letter to prison officials asking for the department's plans and preparations for the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Read the full complaint below.

PPE Whistleblower Letter

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