Oklahoma's Board of Corrections has picked an official from Arizona as the Oklahoma prison system's new director.
The board voted Friday to hire Robert Patton, who runs the operations division in the Arizona prison system. Patton's salary was set at $160,000 annually.
The longtime head of the Oklahoma agency, Justin Jones, announced his resignation last summer amid highly publicized clashes with the governor's office and legislative leaders over the agency's finances and the growing use of private prisons to house state inmates.
Gov. Mary Fallin called Patton an "experienced and skilled manager" dedicated to keeping prisons safe for guards and inmates.
KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.