Public Safety

Muscatine County Jail administrator who made anti-Muslim, homophobic posts online put on leave

The Muscatine County Jail Friday, August 19, 2011 in Muscatine, Iowa. (Beth Van Zandt/The Muscatine Journal)
The Muscatine County Jail Friday, August 19, 2011 in Muscatine, Iowa. (Beth Van Zandt/The Muscatine Journal)

Muscatine Couny Jail Administrator Capt. Dean Naylor was placed on administrative leave Thursday.

According to Muscatine County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Santo Saucedo, Sheriff C.J. Ryan made the decision to put Naylor on leave. Saucedo did not say if Naylor’s leave was prompted by the discovery of a lengthy online treatise and seven YouTube videos that called Muslims “pawns of the devil” and called the “gay lifestyle” an “abomination.”

Ryan did not immediately respond to a request for information regarding Naylor’s leave of absence.

“All I can say is that I was notified by the sheriff (C.J. Ryan) that (Naylor) had been placed on administrative leave,” Saucedo said Friday. “It is my understanding that leave started (Thursday).”

Naylor’s writings and videos were a topic during the Monday, April 13 regular meeting of the board of supervisors. There it was determined Muscatine County has no written policy governing what employees can post on personal websites.

But the discovery of Naylor’s work had a wider effect.

Muscatine County recently expanded its jail, planning to generate revenue through fees paid by other Iowa counties — as well as the federal government — for housing inmates.

Johnson County sends inmates to Muscatine and responded to Naylor’s opinions by threatening to end its contract with the Muscatine County Jail. Last year, Muscatine collected $657,415 as payment from Johnson County for housing inmates.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors wrote to the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors, voicing concerns about Naylor.

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“Captain Naylor’s reprehensible comments about Muslims and members of the LGBTQ+ community have caused us to fear for the civil liberties of the inmates housed at (Muscatine County) jail,” Johnson County Chairperson Ron Sullivan said in his statement to the board.

Sullivan encouraged the Muscatine Board of Supervisors to take all actions necessary to “ensure the protection of the civil liberties of all persons incarcerated in your jail.”

Zach Peterson, business agent for Teamsters Local 238 — which represents the Correction Officers of the Muscatine County Jail — also made a statement earlier in the month, criticizing Naylor’s comments and actions as well as asking Sheriff C.J. Ryan to remove Naylor from his position.

“Hatred of this type will not be tolerated by Teamsters 238,” Peterson said. “The Muscatine jailers deserve better leadership and are clear in their position that Captain Naylor’s statements are not representative of their beliefs or work ethics. We believe this behavior reflects poorly on the Muscatine community, and if not corrected or acted upon reflects a morally complicit position of Sheriff C.J. Ryan.”

In his written treatise, Naylor denounced court rulings that led to the removal of the Ten Commandments from courthouses and government buildings. He predicted a global war pitting Muslims against Christians that would result in the death of two billion people.

l Comments: (319) 398-8252; nathan.ford@thegazette.com

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