Mecklenburg Co. detention officer terminated, charged with having sex with inmate

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — A Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office detention officer has been terminated and criminally charged with engaging in a sexual act with a male inmate and providing a tobacco product to a resident in custody at Mecklenburg County Detention Center-Central.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Karen Payton was terminated Tuesday after warrants were issued for her arrest. She had been employed with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office said August 14, 2019.

“There is no place for this type of conduct or behavior in our detention facilities or agency. 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,” said Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry L. McFadden.

No other details about the criminal investigation or the pending charges were immediately provided.

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