Effingham County prison warden resigns - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Effingham County prison warden resigns

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Ronald Spears Ronald Spears

An Effingham County prison warden has resigned after being accused of using money collected from the sale of confiscated cell phones for personal gain.

The allegations are detailed in documents released Friday from Georgia Dept. of Corrections.

According to the 82-page document, Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie contacted the commissioners' office in January after being alerted that Ronald Spears may have sold cell phones confiscated from the prison for personal gain.

Investigators found no logs for the confiscated cell phones. According to the Georgia Dept. of Directions documents, Spears donated the phones to the victim witness program, but when he started to see them back in the jail, he took them home, according to the documents.

The report states that Spears allowed his son to mail the cell phones to Pace Butler for money in return. Spears claimed he did not know he could not give the cell phones away.

According to the report, Spears cashed checks totaling $290.49 at one point. Spears stated he was "just trying to help his kids," according to the report.

Spears held the position since 2003 and had been on paid administrative leave since Jan. 23. He voluntarily separated from the prison on March 10.

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