High-ranking prison officer Anthony Vella is accused of using his authority and security access to search for colleague’s  numbers on a database to ask them on dates.
High-ranking prison officer Anthony Vella is accused of using his authority and security access to search for colleague’s numbers on a database to ask them on dates.

Prison officer accused of abusing power to get dates

A prison intelligence supervisor is being investigated over misconduct allegations involving female colleagues at a maximum-security prison.

Anthony Vella is accused of abusing his power as a senior ranking officer within Melbourne Assessment Prison's intelligence unit.

An internal investigation is scrutinising serious claims made against him by at a female senior acting supervisor.

The Herald Sun is aware of allegations Mr Vella used a high-security intelligence database to extract personal information, including phone numbers, of junior female colleagues.

Anthony Vella
Anthony Vella

Mr Vella was involved in training new recruits as part of his role.

Numerous prison insiders claimed he would abuse his "authority and security access" to inappropriately contact female trainees.

"He would go out to a new squad and get the name of all the female trainees then go back to MAP (Melbourne Assessment Prison), use his power to find their mobile numbers and ring them to ask for dates," one insider claimed.

Mr Vella still works for the department and no disciplinary action has been taken against him.

The Herald Sun is not suggesting the allegations are true, only that the department is investigating.

Mr Vella was moved from Melbourne Assessment Prison after the allegations came to light.

It is understood he took up a similar role at Ravenhall Correctional Centre but was moved on a short time later.

The Herald Sun has been told he is now working a head office job relating to a new prison project.

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A Department of Justice and Community Safety spokeswoman said the allegations against him would be thoroughly examined.

"An investigation is underway into allegations made against a staff member at the Melbourne Assessment Prison," said the spokeswoman.

"The integrity of Victoria's corrections system is of the highest priority and all staff are required to uphold the utmost levels of professionalism and ethics.

"As the investigation is underway, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Intelligence supervisors are given "high-level access" to personal information about staff and inmates in prison and it is considered a serious "privacy breach" to inappropriately access the database, according to a prison source.

The Herald Sun contacted Mr Vella for comment.

aneeka.simonis@news.com.au

@AneekaSimonis



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