Ex-Oklahoma prison official to join Kingman prison staff

KINGMAN - The departing head of Oklahoma's prison system has been hired for a top administrative post at Arizona State Prison-Kingman.

Oklahoma Corrections Director Robert Patton announced Friday he is resigning and has accepted a position in Arizona to be closer to family.

Patton didn't specify the Arizona job, but Boca Raton, Fla.-based GEO Group said Monday that Patton will be deputy warden at Arizona's Kingman prison.

Arizona hired GEO Group in October to operate the Kingman prison. The previous operator was ousted after July riots caused nearly $2 million in damages. GEO Group took over operations last week.

In Oklahoma, Patton presided over two botched lethal injections and a third that was called off because the wrong drug was delivered.

He's departing amid an investigation into what went wrong with the executions.