Probe into Nuwaubian jail ties ended

Athens, USA - The Clarke County Sheriff's Office has finished a seven-month investigation into whether deputies' connection to a black supremacist religious sect broke jail policy.

Meanwhile, the five deputies with ties to the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors - a sect headed by convicted child molester Dwight "Malachi" York - continue to collect a county salary while they wait out administrative leave.

Among other allegations, the sheriff's office investigated claims that Nuwaubian deputies actively recruited prisoners into the sect, and at least one deputy remained in touch with York, who is serving a lengthy federal prison sentence for racketeering, money laundering and other crimes.

"The investigative process has ended," Chief Deputy Sheriff Jack Mitchell said.

Sheriff's officials are reviewing the results to see if the jailers' Nuwaubian activities violated any jail policies or broke any laws.

Five deputies with Nuwaubian affiliations were placed on administrative leave in July and continue to draw paychecks as they wait to learn the investigation's outcome.

Two other deputies resigned after Mitchell's predecessor at the jail, Brett Hart, started to investigate Nuwaubian activities.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents assisted in the sheriff's probe, administering lie-detector tests to sheriff's employees.

"Recommendations were forwarded, and written decisions will be issued," Mitchell said.

Mitchell, appointed Clarke County Jail commander last month, acts as spokesman for Sheriff Ira Edwards. He said Edwards "will issue a formal comment about the investigation's conclusions in the very near future."

Hart, jail commander at the time, initiated an internal investigation in March, when the U.S. Bureau of Prisons informed him that the federal maximum security prison had intercepted a letter from a Clarke deputy to York, who is serving a 135-year sentence.

Edwards' only explanation for firing the chief jailer was he decided it was time for "new direction" in management, but Hart claims he was let go because he continued to press the investigation when it seemed the sheriff's office wasn't taking action.

A Clarke County grand jury also looked into the matter, eventually calling for an independent agency to investigate the case.

Forming the nucleus of a Nuwaubian presence at the jail were five deputies who were among seven officers who resigned from the Macon Police Department in 2004 after the city wouldn't investigate their claims that York was the victim of a conspiracy. Three of those deputies - Bobby Dixon, Leon Adams and William York - are on paid administrative leave, and the other former Macon officers - Antiwan Dean and Jamon Fredrick - "voluntarily resigned," Mitchell said.

Two other deputies who did not come from the Macon police force, Anthony Montgomery and Rena Jennings, also are on paid suspension.