Craig Ferguson, Thompson Academy Administrator, Leaves Under Cloud of State Investigation
|Ferguson left after the state began investigating the allegations.|
Thompson is an all-male, "moderate risk" detention center for teenagers, funded by the state and run by the for-profit company Youth Services International. Local attorney Michael Aaron Hoffman represents three former Thompson Academy employees -- Kamal Warren, Farouto Austin, and Marcus Blue. In March, Hoffman called the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to report a troubling incident described by the ex-employees.
On April 24, 2011, Ferguson drove three Thompson Academy residents to Walmart and bought them shoes and suits, the ex-staffers alleged. Then Ferguson brought the boys home with him and allowed them to shower. He drove them back to Thompson Academy at 11 p.m. that day.
DJJ officials began investigating the allegations within days of Hoffman's complaint. According to agency spokesman C.J. Drake, the investigation is still in progress.
But Ferguson is no longer running Thompson Academy. By April 26, his name had been removed from the lockup's website, replaced by acting facility administrator Jasir Diab. According to Hoffman, Ferguson's name was listed the day before.
Jesse Williams Jr., senior vice president of operations at Youth Services International, has not responded to the Pulp's request for comment.
To read New Times' in-depth investigation of previous abuse allegations at Thompson, click here.