Sheriff's captain placed on leave for having inmates build a grill

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A Santa Clara County sheriff was walked off the job at the Elmwood Jail in California for allegedly using inmates to build a grill.

Captain Amy Le reportedly had her badge and county vehicle taken away and is on paid administrative leave. Apparently, she had the grill built as part of a break area for correctional staff at the prison.

Le’s superiors weren’t happy with the project, ABC 7 reports. When they found out that she didn’t have a building permit for the work, Le was removed from the job. She apparently bought the grill using her own money but used inmates to assemble it.

Footage of the grill was uploaded to Twitter, showing off the large cooking appliance decorated with American flags. The handles are brandished with the words “Office of the Sheriff of Santa Clara County.”

Some are questioning the severity of the response, however. Retired Undersheriff and Chief of Correction John Hirokawa spoke with ABC 7, saying, “It's very unusual for a captain to be walked off in that manner for a project that wasn't for personal gain, on jail property. There may have been policies or procedures broken with regard to that project, but there must be more to the story.”

A spokesperson for the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office provided Fox News the following statement: “In fairness to the employee and the entire Sheriff’s Office, we caution against any speculation and we cannot comment on personnel matters.”

Captain Le was the first female president of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Correction Peace Officers Association. Le was promoted to captain last fall, ending her eligibility to head the union, Mercury News reports.

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