The Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution has a new superintendent.
Sue Washburn begins her new role on Monday, according to Colette Peters, director of the Oregon Department of Corrections.
Current superintendent Brigitte Amsberry will retire at the end of the month under a cloud. Amsberry, who took the helm at EOCI in July of 2017, was placed on leave in early September and until recently was the subject of an internal human resources investigation. In addition, interim Superintendent Richard McGraw is also under investigation.
Washburn’s corrections career started in 2005 when she was hired as human resources manager at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla and later became TRCI’s food services manager and then acting assistant superintendent of general services. Most recently, she served as superintendent at Powder River Correctional Facility in Baker City. The minimum security facility has a capacity of 286 inmates. EOCI, a medium security prison, houses about 1,700 inmates.
“I look forward to joining the amazing team at EOCI, meeting community members and supporting all the employees, contractors and volunteers,” Washburn said “These individuals give their all to keep both the institution and the community safe. While I have sincerely been blessed to work at Powder River Correctional Facility and will miss the people and this community, it is my honor and privilege to begin this new adventure.”
Washburn has a background in finance, human resources, and public safety management. Before hiring on with the DOC, Washburn worked at Blue Mountain Community College and in public safety. Washburn studied human resource and public safety management at Portland State University and Eastern Oregon University.
The DOC isn’t expounding on the reasons for Amsberry’s sudden retirement or the nature of the investigation, which is concluded, according to DOC Communications Manager Jennifer Black. As of Oct. 18, Amsberry was duty stationed at home with pay. Amsberry started her corrections career in 2000 as a registered nurse at EOCI and worked her way up to the superintendent’s office.
In a DOC news release, Peters said, “We would like to thank Ms. Amsberry for her long career at DOC.”
No details were available about the internal investigation into McGraw.
Washburn’s monthly salary is $9,463.