Head of embattled juvenile facility fired for allegedly working under the influence

Jail(MGN Online / Mitchell Haindfield / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 1:26 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -The former superintendent of the embattled Campbell County Juvenile Detention Center was fired for allegedly being drunk on the job, WAVE News Troubleshooters learned.

Kraig McWhorter was fired July 5, according to state documents.

A letter describing the reasons for his dismissal stated McWhorter released a teen from the facility without ever talking to the parent or asking for identification. He was also accused of having the teen forge her mother’s signature on the release form.

When asked if he had a child forge a state document, McWhorter replied, “Man, I really messed that up didn’t I?” the documents stated.

Documents said he was under the influence while processing a teen into the facility. McWhorter had originally said he was only in the lobby that night. Surveillance video showed otherwise.

The incident was not the first time McWhorter had reportedly been spoken to about drinking while working. It allegedly happened two other times where he was spoken to by two other employees.

“Director Kazee stated that he has had this conversation with you in the past and Executive Director James Sweatt had a conversation with you prior to this incident,” the letter said.

WAVE News put in an open records request to find out if McWhorter was ever disciplined before his termination.

The firing happened one month before a corrections officer at the facility was fired for allegedly having sexual relationships with some of the underage detainees.

Neil Moorman is now under a criminal investigation by Kentucky State Police after witnesses came forward reporting groping and kissing of the teens. Sources said staff members found a number of love letters from Moorman to at least one teen.

Multiple sources told WAVE News Troubleshooters there were complaints made about Moorman by suspicious staff, but nothing was done for weeks.

The Department of Juvenile Detention denied any inaction and stated they contacted Kentucky State Police after reviewing a troubling surveillance video involving Moorman and a teen girl.

The firing and allegations against Moorman came as a surprise to legislators who have fought for better conditions at the state’s juvenile facilities.

Senator Whitney Westerfield called the allegations against Moorman appalling and said he was furious they were never brought up by DJJ leadership during hearings about the facility.

McWhorter tried to appeal his firing, but that appeal was denied.

Moorman declined to comment about the allegations against him, but did say he was aware of KSP looking into it.