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IN BRIEF / SAN FRANCISCO

Prisons Chief Denies Blocking Guards Probe

November 22, 2003|From Times Wire Reports.

California's prisons director denied in federal court Friday that he had impeded an investigation into allegations that Pelican Bay State Prison guards had committed perjury in inmate-abuse cases.

"I didn't shut down any investigation," Edward Alameida testified to a court-appointed investigator.

John Hagar, the investigator, is trying to find out whether the director subverted inquiries concerning testimony by guards that might have been fabricated to protect other guards accused of beating inmates.

The probe began last year after Pelican Bay guards Jose Ramon Garcia and Edward Michael Powers were convicted and sentenced to seven and six years in prison, respectively. Between 1992 and 1996, they solicited prisoners to attack child molesters, sex offenders and other inmates they disliked.

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