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Mecklenburg County jail officer fired for having sex with inmate

Karen Payton was fired after being charged with having sex with and providing tobacco to an inmate at the Mecklenburg County jail.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A Mecklenburg County jail worker is facing multiple charges after she was fired for having sex with an inmate, the sheriff's office said. 

Sheriff Garry McFadden said Karen Payton also provided the same inmate with tobacco, which is a violation. Payton was fired after warrants were issued for her arrest. She is charged with engaging in a sexual act with an inmate and providing a tobacco product to an inmate in custody. 

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"There is no place for this type of conduct or behavior in our detention facilities or agency," McFadden said in a statement. "We face too many daily challenges here at MCSO to allow such behavior and activity to continue that could compromise the safety and security of our staff and our residents. Officer Payton's actions are not a reflection of the professionalism and high standards required by all staff at MCSO."

Payton is the second detention center worker to be fired due to criminal charges in the past month. Detention Officer Branden Williamson was terminated in connection with felony assault charges out of Richland County, South Carolina. 

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