Cathleen Allison / AP
Published Monday, Sept. 14, 2015 | 6:25 p.m.
Updated Monday, Sept. 14, 2015 | 7:07 p.m.
The director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, who has faced criticism over the use of force by corrections guards, has resigned, officials announced today.
"The governor felt that it was time to move the department in a new direction," according to a statement from Gov. Brian Sandoval's office on the departure of Greg Cox, who became acting director of the department in January 2011 and was appointed director months later.
Cox joined the department in December 2003 when he became warden of Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs, and he worked his way up to warden of High Desert State Prison about two miles away in August 2004, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections website.
Cries of a "broken" prison system targeted Cox amid a high-profile shooting this year and use-of-force complaints against corrections guards in Nevada prisons.
State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, defended Cox on Twitter following news of his departure.
"This is so sad. Cox was a real reformer stuck in an underfunded institution which refused to reform," he wrote.
Deputy Director of Operations E.K. McDaniel will serve as the interim director, according to a news release from Sandoval's office.
“I would like to thank Greg for his service to our state and I appreciate his hard work serving the people of Nevada,” Sandoval said in the statement. “As we move forward, E.K. will help provide a smooth transition while we work to find new leadership for the department."
McDaniel began working as a correctional officer in Oklahoma in 1975 and eventually became the deputy warden of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary before joining NDOC as the warden of Ely State Prison in 1993, according to Sandoval's office.
He worked there until 2011, when he became deputy director of operations, according to the statement.