The Hall County Board of Commissioners has named an interim warden of the Hall County Correctional Institution until that position can be filled permanently.
Dennis Udzinski, who currently serves as the deputy warden of the institution, will take over as the interim warden Nov. 1.
Current warden Avery Niles was named last week as interim commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and will leave his post at the end of the month.
“I appreciate the commission’s confidence in me to give me this opportunity,” said Udzinski. “I will do my very best to make sure we uphold the high standards set forth by Warden Niles in his tenure here.”
Udzinski has been worked in the Hall County correctional facility for more than a decade.
“It’s a blessing that individuals like Dennis have stepped up to the plate during my tenure and showed his professionalism and been a good team player and an excellent, excellent leader in this county,” Niles said. “I’m proud of Dennis and he’s ready for the next challenge.”
Udzinski said he anticipates no changes in how the facility is operated.
“Warden Niles did an excellent job at the institution and everything is running fairly well and we’re praying we can maintain those standards,” Udzinski said.
No timeline has been set to find a permanent warden. County Administrator Randy Knighton said the job posting will be open for a few weeks and a pool of candidates will be interviewed.
“(A timeline is) hard to determine in something like this, simply because we want to be very prudent in how we handle it and we want to ensure we’ve identified the best candidates going forward,” Knighton said. “So, it’s difficult to put a timeline on it.” He said the position is likely to be filled by the end of the year and Udzinski could apply.
Last week Niles was named to replace juvenile justice Commissioner L. Gale Buckner, who announced her retirement last Wednesday during a special meeting of the agency’s board.
Niles, who is the board chairman, is stepping down from the board Oct. 31 to assume the post. The DJJ board will elect a new chairman at its Nov. 15 meeting.