The Oklahoma Department of Corrections recently hired the wife of a former Arizona prison warden, himself hired last year as a special assistant to Corrections Director Robert Patton, records show.
Teresa Hetmer, 56, was hired by Corrections May 1 as security and facility operations manager at an annual salary of $54,572, according to department records. She worked as a deputy warden at the Arizona Department of Corrections prior to being hired in Oklahoma.
She is the wife of Lance Hetmer, a former Arizona prison warden who was hired last year. Teresa Hetmer’s hiring comes during a time the department faces a shortage of correctional officers to staff the state’s over-capacity prison system.
Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins said Hetmer’s hiring filled a vacant position. She will be based in Oklahoma City, Watkins said.
Teresa Hetmer was directly appointed to the position by David Parker, division manager for the department’s east institutions, according to an April 7 Department of Corrections interoffice memorandum.
Lance Hetmer faced controversy as warden at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence prior to being hired by Patton. Warden Hetmer oversaw the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood on July 23, 2014. It took around two hours for Wood to die in that execution.