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Former prison warden booked into jail ahead of press conference on inmate deaths

Waupun Correctional Institution
Posted at 12:14 PM, Jun 05, 2024

The former Waupun Correctional Institution warden was booked into jail Wednesday morning.

Randall Hepp announced his resignation at the end of May amid lockdown conditions, an ongoing federal investigation and multiple inmate deaths.

The reason for Hepp's incarceration were not clear, but Waupun has been under federal investigation since at least March. That probe has resulted in the suspension of nearly a dozen Waupun Correctional Institution employees to date, according to the state Department of Corrections.

A spokesperson for Gov. Evers told The Associated Press in March that the governor and Department of Corrections officials asked the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal authorities in June 2023 to launch the probe.

Multiple sweeps of Waupun housing units revealed people in the prison were obtaining prohibited items such as cellphones and illegal drugs. An initial investigation by the Department of Corrections uncovered allegations that prison employees were involved, including information suggesting “financial crimes” may have occurred, the spokesperson said.

Knowledge that Hepp is now an inmate at the Dodge County Jail comes just hours before a scheduled press conference where Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt and other officials planned to lay out a high-level overview of the events which occurred during the four deaths and what accountability actions will be taken as a result. One of these deaths occurred in June, 2023; two in October, 2023; and one in February, 2024.