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Probation officer says she didn't sleep through text messages

TAMPA — She prays a lot. She says she has God on her side. But Pamyla Crompton still cries when she thinks about what people are saying about her.

The last thing she wanted was a 19-year-old woman to be raped.

Crompton, the former probation officer accused of ignoring text message alerts indicating that convicted rapist Tommy Lee Sailor was on the move Jan. 1, said in an exclusive interview with the St. Petersburg Times that she did everything she could that morning.

"I'm not a liar," she said Tuesday as she wiped away tears. "I wouldn't do anything wrong. I loved that job, and I really worked hard."

She said she didn't sleep through the text alerts.

Still, the department's internal investigation concluded she lied about when she received the messages about Sailor, the man police say raped and threatened to kill a woman he had picked up that night at a South Tampa bar.

A summary of that investigation was released last week, and the full report was made public Tuesday. The department was not able to determine when she actually received the text alerts. But it found she gave conflicting accounts to a Tampa police officer and to her supervisor. She resigned in June.

The investigation led to changes statewide in how Department of Corrections employees handle the alerts.

Crompton, 39, was hired as a probation officer in 1994. She helped get bus passes, job interviews and dress clothes for those on probation so they could re-enter society.

One week a month she was on call, which meant she was responsible for about 60 people during off hours. If a parolee's ankle monitor malfunctioned, or if he cut it or left the area he was required to stay within, she would check on him.

Sometimes that could be accomplished with a quick phone call or a message sent to the individual's monitor. If those didn't work, she'd have to drive to the person's home. Sometimes she'd call police.

On New Year's Eve, she was on call. That meant no drinking, so she said she didn't. She and her husband ate wings and watched fireworks from their window. She got into her pajamas, crawled into bed and watched New Year's Rockin' Eve on television.

She says she got an alert about another parolee shortly after midnight, and she messaged him through the Pro Tech monitoring system on her laptop at home. She thinks she dozed off between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

That means she would have been awake when Pro Tech said it sent out the first message about Sailor. That was at 12:47 a.m.

The company sent out another at 1:59 a.m. She says she didn't get that, either.

Instead, she said, a loud chirping noise woke her at 4:54 a.m., notifying her of several alerts that she said came in all at once.

She deleted the messages — which, she said, is her usual procedure since she receives so many. Verizon, the service provider to her phone, didn't cooperate with the investigation, said corrections department spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.

Nonetheless, an investigator concluded she lied.

A report states that when Crompton arrived at Sailor's home, she told a Tampa police officer she had received a text alert about Sailor at 2 a.m. That differs with what she told her supervisor — that she received all the alerts at 4:54 a.m.

Crompton said Tuesday the police officer must be mistaken. And she's not sure why the investigator would take his word over hers.

She says she was never interviewed by the investigator. However, through Plessinger, the investigator said his records indicate he called Crompton and asked for a Feb. 22 interview.

She was on medical leave at that time. "I told him that I couldn't make any statements while I was on medical leave," she said. She said she wasn't contacted after that.

The report also states that Crompton told her supervisor that immediately after receiving the alert about Sailor, she logged into the Pro Tech monitoring system to send a message to his monitor, asking him to contact her.

However, the Pro Tech system shows she didn't log in until 4 minutes after she arrived at his house at 5:29 a.m.

She said there must be a discrepancy in the time she arrived at Sailor's house — that she's sure she tried to contact him before going there.

Sailor, who is charged with raping the 19-year-old woman while threatening her with a screwdriver, is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday.

Five days after the Department of Correction inquiry was closed, Crompton resigned.

She said Tuesday it was for medical reasons, and that she wants to clear her name.

Probation officer says she didn't sleep through text messages 07/13/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 12:19am]

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