by Michael Schwanke
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
6:26 PM CST, January 2, 2013
James Conklin, a 19 year veteran with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, has been charged with two counts of unlawful sexual relations.
On October 9th, two male inmates reported being fondled by Conklin at the work release facility on Harry and McLean in south Wichita.
Conklin was charged and suspended without pay on December 8th.
Sheriff Jeff Easter, who took office after the alleged incident, held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the charges.
He also talked about what he calls "sweeping changes" in the jail to prevent incidents like this one and other issues at the jail.
He said a recent sweep uncovered a smuggling operation being run by an inmate. Jail staff found a cell phone and marijuana in a cell.
Easter also says staff is removing gang graffiti that covered nearly every cell wall in the jail.
"The Sedgwick County Sheriff runs the jail, not the inmates," said Easter.
Easter says he is also changing several policies to help protect deputies in the jail.
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