Alabama parole hearings canceled over notification lapse

Alabama parole hearings canceled over notification lapse

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on Friday abruptly canceled more than 100 parole hearings scheduled for next week, citing unspecified concerns about victim notification.

Director Charlie Graddick, who took office this week, blamed the previous parole board administration for failing to ensure compliance with a new state law, passed in May.

The law, which took effect Sept. 1, established new requirements for victim and witness notification and set other requirements and limits on parole. Graddick said the agency’s legal team received requests for clarification of the rules Thursday. He says those questions leave doubts whether proper notifications have been made. The agency did not elaborate.

Graddick in a statement called the situation a “hot mess”

“This is the classic failure to communicate. The previous administration had May, June, July and August to address these new guidelines and did nothing,” Graddick said.

It was not clear when the hearings would be rescheduled.

Alabama lawmakers approved a parole board overhaul in May, giving the governor the ability to appoint the agency’s director and made other procedural changes.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall pushed for the legislation.

Ivey appointed Graddick, a former Alabama attorney general and circuit judge, as the director. He took office Sept. 1.

Graddick’s first action was to place three agency officials, including his predecessor, on leave pending an investigation into their job performance. The agency did not elaborate on the reasons.

Graddick places three Pardons and Paroles officials on leave