On July 3 2015, a jail supervisor at Rikers Island smelled alcohol on Correction Officer Yardley Rolando’s breath. An administered Breathalyzer test soon confirmed what the supervisor already knew to be true, and surveillance cameras provided additional evidence of Rolando’s unprofessional conduct.
However, it would be three years before Rolando would receive a pink slip.
According to the New York Daily News, Rolando was placed on modified desk duty but remained on the payroll. He was given minimal tasks such as making copies, or getting breakfast for fellow employees at the department’s transportation unit.
Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann said Rolando’s February 2018 termination came as a ruling by an Administrative Law Judge Susan Pogoda.
“(Rolando’s) misconduct in this case is among the most serious offenses a correction officer can commit,” Judge Pogoda said. “(He) placed the inmates in his care, as well as his fellow officers, at considerable risk.”
Rolando isn’t the only correction officer who’s waited years to receive a fate in regards to their employment. Rikers Island has several correction officers all facing a host of charges including the use of excessive force and smuggling in contraband for inmates. However correction officers, like any other city employee, are by law allowed to have their disciplinary cases heard by and administrative law judge, which can slow down the process.
Yet despite the protocol taken, it’s unclear why Rolando’s case was delayed as video surveillance caught him pouring vodka into an empty Poland Spring bottle and then falling asleep at his post, where he was responsible with watching over and caring for inmates in solitary confinement.