The Source - June 5, 2013
10:24 am
Wed June 5, 2013

The Source: Death At The Bexar County Jail | Westside Creek Development

In the first segment:

San Antonio Current writer Michael Barajas documented the events that led to the death of Thomas Taylor while he was in custody at the Bexar County Jail on August 21, 2012.  

The 30-year-old man was found face down in solitary confinement having passed out from an apparent overdose of methadone. Allegations by former guards of being overworked and understaffed led to what Barajas says they called a culture of "pencil-whipping," when guards forged inspections that never took place.  

Barajas said a mass exodus of jail guards throughout last summer exacerbated the issue.

Taylor's family is now suing Bexar County for wrongful death, saying that mismanagement and understaffing led to their son's death.

Michael Barajas joins us along with Paul Berry, chief communications officer for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, who tells us what the jail has changed in light of the death.

A press release received this afternoon from the sheriff's office announced that Raul Banasco has been selected as the new Bexar County Jail Administrator. See release at the bottom of this post**

Also on this edition of The Source:

In the second segment:

The West Side will see the San Pedro and Apache Creeks be transformed into running and biking trails and the San Antonio River Authority is seeking public comment on the projects.

We find out where and when those public conversations are happening as well as how these creeks could affect neighborhoods in those areas as a result of changes, especially in light of the recent floods.  

Russell Persyn, manager of watershed engineering for SARA, joins us to talk about the projects.

In the third segment:

Redistricting is taking a road trip. San Antonio Representative Trey Martinez Fischer tells us more about the special legislative session and where they are taking their public commenting sessions.

  • The Source airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM - audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

Bexar County Sheriff's Office Press Release:

**RAUL BANASCO NAMED NEW BEXAR COUNTY JAIL ADMINISTRATOR

Many of you will remember, Susan Pamerleau’s first act as Sheriff was to post the job opening for a new Jail Administrator and began a nationwide search for the person who will take the Bexar County Detention Center to the next level.  That search is now complete.

On behalf of Sheriff Pamerleau, I am pleased to announce that Raul Banasco has been named the new Jail Administrator for the Bexar County Detention Center. Mr. Banasco will begin working for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, June 10, 2013. His title will be Deputy Chief, Jail Administrator. Mr. Banasco is an accomplished senior level correctional leader with twenty – seven years of experience in city, county and state government agencies as well as non-profit corporations.  

Sheriff Pamerleau made the announcement to Bexar County Sheriff’s Office employees earlier today.  

There will be an official “Meet and Greet” news conference with Mr. Banasco on Friday, June 14th, allowing him to familiarize himself with the position, prior to meeting the media.  More information on this event will be forthcoming.

Mr. Banasco replaces, Mark Thomas, who was reappointed by Sheriff Pamerleau on an interim basis. Mr. Thomas will remain at the Bexar County Detention Center.

Mr. Banasco is currently the Director of Operations for Bridges of America Corporation, a non-profit correctional, transitional, and re-entry organization, based in Orlando, Florida. He has worked for Bridges of America since 2011.

  • From 2006 – 2008 Mr. Banasco was a Major at the Orange County (Florida) Jail.  
  • From 2008 - 2010, Mr. Banasco worked for the Osceola County Corrections Department, where he last served as Deputy Chief.

He also served 19 years for the state of Florida Department of Corrections, serving as a Correctional Officer, Classification Officer, Probation Officer, Probation Supervisor, Classification Supervisor, Assistant Warden of Operations and Programs, and Warden.  He was also the director of staff development for the entire agency.

Mr. Banasco earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Iona College in New York and continued his education at Florida Atlantic University with a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration. He is also a Certified Public Manager, Certified Jail Manager, Certified Corrections Executive, and a Certified National Auditor for the American Correctional Association.

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