Georgia prison warden fired amid corruption charges after GBI investigation

TATTNALL COUNTY, Ga. — A former prison warden is now experiencing lock-up from a different perspective.

Georgia’s new corrections commissioner, Tyrone Oliver, said Brian Adams was in charge of Smith State Prison until he was fired Wednesday.

Adams is now being held at the Tattnall County Jail following an investigation led by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

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A statement from the GBI said they arrested Adams, 48, of Waycross, Georgia, and charged him with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, bribery, false statements, and violation of oath by a public officer.

“As long as I’m sitting in this seat as commissioner of GDC, I’ll have zero tolerance for corruption,” Oliver said.

Oliver told Channel 2 investigative report Mark Winne that he had been tracking the GBI investigation into Smith State Prison, which began well before he became commissioner. Evidence allegedly tying Adams to internal policy violations came to Oliver’s attention on Friday.

“Whether you’re a CO1, a contract employee, unit manager, warden, it doesn’t matter. I’m not gonna tolerate it,” Oliver said.

According to the GBI statement, in April, Nathan Weekes, a current Georgia Department of Corrections inmate, along with three other people, was indicted on charges including conspiracy to commit murder and the Georgia RICO Act about a murder investigation in Glennville.

“The murder investigation showed that Weekes was involved with contraband smuggling inside Smith State Prison. The two investigations are related, and active and ongoing,” the statement said.


Tattnall County Sheriff Kyle Sapp said GBI agents discovered Bobby Kicklighter, 88, was murdered when the killer went to the wrong house. The intended target was an officer who worked at Smith State Prison and lived next door to Kicklighter.

“I’ve known Mr. Bobby for many years, he served in the Korean war, and he was just an outstanding member of the community; he was involved in his church, he was involved in the local history of his church and Tattnall county. I cannot stress enough what a good man Mr. Bobby was,” Sapp said.

Winne said they tried contacting Weekes’ lawyer for a comment Wednesday night but got no response.

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