Decatur County prison warden resigns

Decatur County Prison Warden Elijah McCoy submitted a letter of resignation to county commissioners on Thursday, citing personal reasons for his decision.

The resignation will take effect on Friday, July 31, according to newly appointed County Administrator Alan Thomas.

McCoy has been suspended with pay for the past two weeks, pending the results of what Thomas termed “a fact

Elijah McCoy
Elijah McCoy

-finding” inquiry into allegations made against the warden. County commissioners hired someone to look into the allegations and was still working as of Tuesday’s board meeting, according to former interim county administrator Perry Henry.

Thomas said the fact-finding inquiry was initiated by commissioners prior to his hiring, so it would be up to commissioners on whether investigation into the allegations against McCoy, the nature of which has never been discussed in a public meeting, would continue. Thomas said if the investigation was completed, he would present those findings to commissioners and it would be their decision on how to react.

In the meantime, the prison will be run by two deputy wardens who worked under McCoy, Thomas said. The county administrator said commissioners might choose to allow the deputy wardens to oversee the prison, or otherwise hire a new permanent warden.

McCoy had recently laid off eight employees and eliminated two other open positions as part of an effort to reduce the prison’s annual operating budget. Other parts of that plan included re-negotiating higher rate contracts with local governments that used inmate labor, and sending approximately 90 inmates back to the Georgia Department of Corrections (reducing the per-day costs of running the prison).

The Decatur County Prison has been closely examined since April of this year, when it was revealed that the prison operated at a $2.1 million loss last year. That fact came out during joint Service Delivery negotiations between the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County.

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