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Texas Prison Warden Pleads Guilty; Prison Workers Arrested in Major Drug Bust

A former Texas prison warden who pled guilty to stealing more than $9,300 from a charity fund was sentenced to 5 years probation by a Coryell County District Court in Gatesville, Texas.

On October 18, 2001, Linda Moten, who retired in August 2001 as warden of the Gatesville State Prison for Women, agreed to a plea bargain that requires her to pay $9,386.79 in restitution. Moten allegedly took the money from funds raised for charitable purposes.

Terms of the plea bargain call for deferred adjudication of the third-degree felony that will be cleared from her record if Moten successfully completes the terms of her probation.

Moten began her career with the Texas prison system in 1975 as a guard. She was one of the first female prison guards to work at a male facility, and was the first female African-American warden in Texas.

The Gatesville Chamber of Commerce had honored Moten as 1997 Citizen of the Year; she received the Governor's Volunteer Service Award in 2000; and she was twice nominated for Outstanding Woman in Texas. Before resigning in August, she had served about 7 years on the Gatesville School Board.

Her career came to a jarring halt after investigators from the prison system's Office of the Inspector General disclosed that Moten had been stealing money that had been raised for charity.

Separately, Sgt. Kevin Clarke and Maintenance Supervisor Donald Hanford of Gatesville were among the 10 residents of this central Texas community who were arrested on August 24, 2001, and charged with conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and engaging in organized criminal activity. Clarke and Hanford were employed at the Albert Hughes State Prison, the only facility for men among the half-dozen prisons in rural Coryell County. The arrests were the result of a 15-month drug sting operation conducted by the Coryell County Sheriff's Department. More arrests in connection with the sting operation are expected.

Each of the suspects was taken to Coryell County Jail where Kenneth Green, formerly an assistant warden at the Hughes prison, recently accepted a position as Jail Administrator.

Sources: The Gatesville Messenger ;Killeen Daily Herald

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