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Corrections official: Deputy resigns after boyfriend takes gun

LAWRENCEVILLE - A correctional officer resigned her post at the Gwinnett County Comprehensive Correctional Complex last month because of circumstances surrounding the loss of her duty weapon, a Gwinnett County Department of Corrections official said.

Elena Bell, 39, of Lawrenceville resigned sometime after her significant other, Rickey Verdell, 42, a former inmate, stole her 2001 Dodge Caravan with her county-issued pistol inside, said Deputy Warden Jeff Sligar.

"We prohibit our officers from consorting with inmates both in and after they they have been released, or anyone who is on probation or parole," Sligar said. "The only allegation against her would have been a violation of the rules ... (resulting in) up to and including termination of employment."

Bell notified Lawrenceville police on Oct. 22 that Verdell had stolen her van, referring to him as her live-in boyfriend, Sligar said.

Verdell, who has been out of the prison since 2005, was found driving the van on Oct. 25 and was pulled over and arrested, Sligar said.

Verdell is charged with theft by receiving and credit card theft, and is being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center on $5,600 bond per charge, according to the Sheriff's Department Web site.

Bell had been a state-certified correctional officer at the correctional complex since 2004 before her resignation, Sligar said.