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Lincoln Hills entrance

The state Department of Corrections has reached a $300,000 settlement with an inmate who was injured at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls. 

The new superintendent of the state’s troubled youth prison has resigned after fewer than four months on the job.

Wayne Olson took over the job as superintendent of Irma’s Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls in January after former superintendent John Ourada was removed from his position amid an investigation into allegations of inmate abuse.

In a resignation letter dated March 31, Olson said he had accepted a position at Thompson Correctional Center in Deerfield “due to family reasons.”

Department of Corrections spokesman Tristan Cook said in a statement Olson’s resignation was his decision and not the department’s.

The youth prison’s deputy superintendent Wendy Peterson will take over Olson’s position, Cook said.

Troy Bauch, AFSCME union representative for employees at Lincoln Hills, said Wednesday the majority of employees previously signed a petition expressing no confidence in Peterson when she was placed in her current position.

Olson’s resignation is the latest in a string of employment changes amid an investigation now headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation targeting a wide range of potential crimes, including child abuse, sexual assault and misconduct in public office.

Newly appointed DOC secretary Jon Litscher in a statement thanked Olson for his leadership.

“Under his guidance, CLS/LHS has implemented a number of substantial reforms that further DOC’s commitment to the safety and security of youth in DOC custody,” Litscher said.

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Molly Beck covers politics and state government for the Wisconsin State Journal.