Lawmaker Questions Removal of Ohio Parole Board Members

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Democratic State lawmaker Tracy Heard says she has sent a note to the head of Ohio’s prison system, asking Gary Mohr why he removed two members of the Ohio Parole board who were appointed by Former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland. Heard says she read about the dismissal of Cathy Collins Taylor and Jose Torres in a newspaper. And in an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Representative Heard says she doesn’t understand why the two parole board members were released.

HEARD: "I understand those are appointed positions but usually, when that type of juggling takes place, its at the beginning of an administration. We are a year and a half into an administration and suddenly, out of the blue, these two really qualified individuals are released from the board."

INGLES: "And you think this could be politics at play then?"

HEARD: "I think it certainly leans to that type of decision. I did the background to see if they were not qualified because the only comment that were made was that he continues to look for the best people for this position. Both of them were extremely qualified so I’m not sure what more or what different type of qualifications they might be seeking."

Heard says the parole board should be diverse in every way, including by political affiliation. Attempts to reach Mohr for his comment on this story were unsuccessful. A spokesman for the department says it is not possible for anyone with the agency to comment on this story today.

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