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Director of corrections retires

Move follows suspension of women's warden

Kevin Wilson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 23/02) - High-level heads continue to roll at the Department of Justice.

Less than two weeks after Territorial Women's Correctional Centre warden Jeannie Marie Jewell was suspended, the NWT's director of corrections has abruptly retired.

The justice department confirmed on Tuesday that John Dillon retired last Friday.

"All I'm at liberty to say is that Mr. Dillon and the department reached a mutually acceptable agreement where he decided to retire Friday," said Don Cooper, deputy minister of justice.

Dillon has spent his entire working life in the justice system, acting for a time as warden of Yellowknife Correctional Centre.

According to Cooper, "there was a period of negotiations" between the department and Dillon prior to the retirement. The length of those negotiations has not been specified. Cooper would not comment further on the matter.

Reached at his home, Dillon also confirmed that he had retired.

Asked about the suddenness of his retirement, coming closely on the heels of Jewell's suspension, Dillon said, "the timing was surprising" to him.

He declined to answer further questions, saying he would, "prefer not to comment."

Contacted in Fort Smith, Jewell said she too was "surprised" to hear about her former boss retiring.

"I wasn't aware that Mr. Dillon had retired," said Jewell.

Cooper said Jewell remains on paid leave of absence from her position, and "the issue will hopefully be resolved soon."

Justice Minister Roger Allen did not return calls by press time.