Another Parole Chief

COLONIE—Three parole chiefs in three months.

David Paterson just announced he is naming Henry “Hank” Lemons Jr. to lead the State Parole Board as interim chairman after the last two men slated for the top spot were pushed aside. The post became empty just before Christmas when George Alexander resigned to face charges of grand larceny.

Paterson nominated Felix Rosa to the post last month, but he withdrew suddenly citing “personal reasons.” (So he never took office.) Democratic sources say the departure had to do with an objection from the parole officers union, and Liz reported that Rosa left after an objection from State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

Lemons appointment is effective immediately. Here’s the full release from the governor’s press shop:

Governor David A. Paterson today announced the appointment of Henry “Hank” Lemons, Jr. to serve as interim Chair of the New York State Board of Parole and interim Chief Executive Officer for the Division of Parole. Mr. Lemons, who has served as a member of the Board of Parole since 2007, will fulfill the role of former Chairman George B. Alexander until a new chair and CEO is confirmed by the New York State Senate.

In 2007, Mr. Lemons was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate for his position as member of the Board of Parole. He served from 2004 to 2007 as Deputy Chief Investigator for the New York State Attorney General. Prior to that post, he was the Assistant Chief Investigator for the Kings County District Attorney. Mr. Lemons is a former Sergeant and Detective with the New York City Police Department. He also served for four years of active duty with the United States Air Force.

Mr. Lemons earned his bachelor’s in criminal justice and planning from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and his master’s in organizational leadership from Mercy College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Mr. Lemons was raised in the Bedford – Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and Queens, where he still resides.

The Board of Parole’s major responsibilities include determining release dates for inmates serving indeterminate prison terms, establishing conditions of release for inmates who are paroled and revoking parole when it is determined that a releasee has violated those conditions.

The Board of Parole consists of up to 19 members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate for a six-year term. One member is designated by the Governor to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of the division. Those positions were held by Mr. Alexander until his resignation in December.

Executive Director Felix M. Rosa Jr. had been nominated to succeed Mr. Alexander. Mr. Rosa withdrew his name from consideration last week.

As interim Chair of the Board of Parole, Mr. Lemons’ salary will be $120,800.

Another Parole Chief