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Warden, security chief resign after prison escape

A warden and a security official have resigned their posts at an Arizona state prison where three inmates escaped last month, setting off a nationwide search.

Unit Warden Lori Lieder and a unit security chief resigned earlier this week from Arizona State Prison at Kingman, said Carl Stuart, a spokesman for Management & Training Corporation, the private company that runs the state prison.

The escape sparked criticism of security levels at the prison.

John McCluskey, Tracy Province and Daniel Renwick escaped July 31 with the alleged help of Casslyn Welch.

Renwick and Province have been recaptured, but McCluskey and Welch, his cousin, are the focus of a nationwide hunt.

The Arizona State Prison officials said they had no information. Stuart said the resignations were a personnel issue.

Meanwhile, the search for the two was focused Saturday on western Montana and the northwestern U.S. and Canada.

The last credible sighting of Welch and McCluskey was on Aug. 6 in Billings, Mont., and the couple are likely still traveling in a gold, tan or gray 1997 Nissan Sentra.

The U.S. Marshals Service has asked travelers at truck stops and in campgrounds nationwide to watch out for the couple, who may have dyed their hair and otherwise changed their appearance. Both are experienced long-haul truckers.

McCluskey was serving a 15-year sentence for attempted second-degree murder and other crimes when he escaped.

Charles Ryan, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, said in the days after the escape that state prison officials have “great concerns that there was laxness on the part of security staff.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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