Mayor Krieger says city should be held accountable for escapee

Mayor Krieger says city should be held accountable for escapee

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Yuma, AZ- This is a serious, serious thing when a criminal in handcuffs and shackles escapes and hijacks a vehicle on the busiest intersection in our community. We ought to have some answers," says Mayor Al Krieger.

Do you think our city should be more transparent?

Mayor Krieger, "Yes, I think they should be far more transparent."

Clearly something went horribly wrong and procedures need to be looked at right?

Mayor Krieger, "Well I would think so, I think that we deserve, the city council deserves a full accounting and a full reporting of what happened, how it happened, and what procedures are going to be implemented to ensure this doesn't happen again."

Why do you think the city isn't answering our questions, just basic questions that we learned we could easily find online?

Mayor Krieger, "Well I can't speak for them but I can say that any negative view of the city is met with resistance, the city staff I'll say is inclined not to have things shown in a negative light".

Do you think our questions are fair- the basic ones?

Mayor Krieger, "Well absolutely, any question is a fair question. I will say that probably much of that information is online and available, people can google it. But, I think that the city should take a position of being helpful and saying this is where you go online to find that information, in fact I've got it right here, this is what it is. That's the roll of the city. We're owned by the taxpayers, that's who we work for."

"The Freedom of Information Act, people have a right to get the information in a timely manner is what the law says, and it's not happening here."

Who holds the city accountable?

Mayor Krieger, "Well ultimately the taxpayers should hold the city accountable."

1/31/13 Related Story: City refuses to answer basic questions about Yuma escapee

Yuma, AZ- It has been exactly 9 days since a prisoner escaped from the custody of Yuma City Court Officers.

Raul Dominguez, 28, has not yet been found, despite the efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies.

Dominguez escaped from Yuma Municipal Court Officers while shackled. He had been arrested the night before he escaped on immigration charges and for assaulting law enforcement officers, among other charges.

He then carjacked a mini van and drove toward the border, where he was able to lose officials in the thick area brush. Police have not ruled out that Dominguez may have escaped to Mexico.

Meanwhile KSWT News 13 viewers are asking how a prisoner was able to escape from city court while chained in shackles?

As journalists we understand that police cannot release information that could jeopardize the investigation.

But so far the City of Yuma refuses to answer basic questions that do not pertain to the investigation and are simply a matter of public record. Questions you the taxpayer deserve to know! Who holds city court officers accountable? How much do they get paid? Who oversees their training?

To date the city will not give us direct answers. They refer us to the police department.

The police department then refers us back to City Hall.

Today, we tried again to get answers.

Contrary to the belief that city court officers are employees of a private security company we've confirmed that's not the case.

According to the city's website City Court Officers are city employees who earn between $25 to 50 thousand per year.

In other words they are paid by you the taxpayer. Some of their duties include transporting prisoners, monitoring closed circuit TV and security alarm systems, and maintain proper security presence.

To get hired the minimum qualification includes a high school diploma and at least 2 years responsible law enforcement experience.

A witness who does not want to be identified tells us Raul Dominguez was also wearing handcuffs along with shackles around his ankles; originally police only told us he had on shackles.

A spokesperson for the city would only tell me that the procedures on how prisoners are transferred from county Jail to City Court will be looked at.

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