GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Perryville Warden Laura Pyle is stepping down from her role at the women's prison in Goodyear.
The retirement is effective on Friday, July 28, according to a statement on the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry's website.
Her departure announcement comes amid extreme heat problems at the prison during this record heat wave.
The 12News I-Team started investigating and reporting on concerns at Perryville prison last week after several inmates and their family members complained about cells hitting more than 90 or even 100 degrees throughout July. They also complained of AC and swamp coolers breaking down, creating more heat safety concerns.
Pyle's departure comes after ADCRR Prison Director Ryan Thornell visited the prison and started implementing heat relief changes at the end of last week. The statement did not detail why Pyle was leaving but stated that Warden Hope Ping would be moving over from Safford as the interim warden.
Thornell previously told 12News that the reports he was getting from his staff showed cell temperatures in the mid-80s at Perryville, despite complaints from inmates and their loved ones saying they could be much hotter. A department spokesperson told 12News that Thornell visited the prison "several times" after an initial interview with the I-Team about the heat concerns.
Some of the changes implemented at Perryville include free ice for inmates and misters installed in outdoor yards.
ADCRR said it would not comment on personnel matters. The I-Team tried to call Pyle's office Thursday morning but could not get through. She has not yet responded to an email.
The following statement was posted on ADCRR's website regarding Pyle's departure:
Laura Pyle, Warden of ASPC Perryville, has announced her retirement from the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry (ADCRR). Ms. Pyle has served as the Warden at the Perryville complex for 15 months, capping off a 23-year career with ADCRR. Her retirement is effective July 28, 2023.
Director Thornell thanks Warden Pyle for her years of service to the Department and to the State of Arizona, and wishes her well in her retirement.
Following this announcement, Director Thornell has named Warden Hope Ping as the interim Warden at ASPC Perryville. Warden Ping is currently serving as the Warden of ASPC Safford, and will transition into the Perryville role effective immediately.