Governor Glenn Youngkin has picked new parole board members after Senate Democrats blocked his previous appointees.
“After the Democrats attempted to cover up a scandal of their own creation and keep individuals from receiving parole, it’s time to reform the Parole Board again and put the scandals behind us,” Youngkin said in a Wednesday press release.
In February, Senate Democrats blocked the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler, Youngkin’s pick for Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources. Wheeler was controversial because of his work as the EPA administrator under former President Donald Trump, and after several interviews, Senate Democrats removed him from a list of cabinet nominees to be confirmed. In retaliation, House Republicans threatened to block confirmation of many of former Governor Ralph Northam’s appointees to various boards across Virginia, but eventually blocked a pared-down list of 11 appointees including several members of the Board of Education. In March, led by Senate Privileges and Elections Chair Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), Senate Democrats voted against confirming all four of Youngkin’s parole board appointees.
Republicans haven’t retaliated for that latest action, and Ebbin’s Chief of Staff Henry Watkins told The Star that at this time, the senator doesn’t see any concerns with the new parole board nominees, who will eventually have to be advanced to confirmation by the Privileges and Elections Committee.
The new nominees are: Chesapeake School Board Member Samuel Boone, Jr., who is also a recruiter for the Virginia State Police (VSP); Steven Buck, who has experience working in prosecution at the local, state, and federal level; Michelle Dermyer, the surviving spouse of VSP Trooper Chad Dermyer, who died in the line of duty; and former Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Toby Vick, who also worked for powerful legal and lobbyist firm McGuire Woods.
“This group of individuals will restore common sense, reform the Parole Board, and stand up for victims’ rights. In prioritizing public safety, we are ensuring that all Virginians feel safe and secure in their communities. We need to put an end to the chaos and reform the Parole Board,” Youngkin said in the release.
– – –
Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Glenn Youngkin” by Glenn Youngkin. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Martin Kraft. CC BY-SA 3.0.