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|“||Don't fu-k with Querns!||„|
|~ Querns admonishing the inmates|
Martin Querns is a supporting antagonist in the HBO drama Oz. He is the brutal, autocratic warden of the titular prison, who replaces the more liberal, idealistic Tim McManus after McManus is fired.
He is portrayed by the late Reg E. Cathey, who also portrayed Freeze in The Mask.
Querns is hired by Warden Glynn when he is asked to find a competent black man for the job after Glynn is forced to fire Tim McManus when he makes a fool of himeself at the funeral of Officer Howard.
Querns cuts a deal with gang leaders Enrique Morales, Simon Adebesi and Chucky Pancamo to turn a blind eye to their drug dealing as long as they commit no acts of violence. Querns announces there will be a system of three trustees who will keep order in Em City and gives these positions to Adebisi, Pancamo and Morales. Officer Sean Murphy is disgusted that Querns would appoint the three worst people in the prison as trustees. Querns then has Murphy and the C.O,s loyal to him transferred out of Em City.
Querns slowly begins transferring white inmates out of Em City and replacing them with African-American inmates, gaining him the enmity of Chris Keller and Ryan O'Reily, who are not full-fledged Aryans but occasionally ally themselves with the gang for protections. Muslim leader Kareem Said is disgusted that Adebisi is allowed to do drugs and rape men with impunity and plots to expose Querns.
Querns' reputation is hurt when he fails to prevent the deaths of Nate Shemin and Mondo Browne, both orchestrated by O'Reily and Keller. Said finds the videotapes of Adebesi's behavior and brings them to McManus. McManus then shows them to Glynn, who fires Querns.
After Governor James Devlin has Glynn killed, Querns is appointed the new warden. McManus expects Querns to fire him out of spite, but is surprised when Querns states his job is safe. However, Devlin asks Querns asked to fire McManus, but Querns, in a rare moment of conscience, gives McManus a month's notice, as he knows Devlin is about to be impeached.
As warden, Querns installs a special chair in solitary confinement that the prisoners will be sent to if they disobey him. Querns tells the convicts to once again heed the warning: "Don't fu-k with Querns."
Querns later throws up as he watches Cyril O'Reily die in the electric chair. Tobias Beecher then kills Aryan leader Vernon Schillinger in the prison production of Macbeth with a knife that was supposed to be a prop. Querns and prison psychiatrist "Sister Pete" Raimondo conclude Schillinger's death was an accident, as both despised Schillinger and are relieved he is gone. The Aryan Brotherhood on staff in the mailroom opens a package with an unknown substance that kills everyone there. As a result, Querns evacuates the entire prison.