There is a tunnel under the locked-down state penitentiary, but it is not new, as prison officials first claimed.
“It’s been there a long time,” Senate Majority Leader Tim Jennings said after crawling through the 30-foot tunnel in the prison’s basement.
As proof, Jennings brought out a splintered board.
“When I turned it over, you could see the action of termites and other bugs,” he said. “My house has had termites. I know what termites are. This wood has been there a long time.”
Even top prison officials are now conceding privately that the inmates didn’t dig it.
The tunnel, discovered Wednesday by prison officials who say they had just prevented a riot and escape, has some questioning Gov. Gary Johnson’s credibility.
A prison union official contends that the Johnson administration invented the prison crisis to stampede legislators into giving him $121 million to build new prisons.