2023-01-25 22:12:14

AG: Ex-Parole Board Chair Violated Law; Too Late for Charges

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U.S. News & World Report
By Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) A former Virginia Parole Board chair violated state policy and law in her handling of cases at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and could have faced criminal charges for falsifying documents if not for the statute of limitations, the state's attorney general said Wednesday.

Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares laid out his allegations against Adrianne Bennett as he outlined the findings of a yearlong investigation by his office into the practices of the board, focused especially on its activities in March and April of 2020.

What happened here was a clear abuse of power. What happened here was the epitome of putting criminals first, and victims last, Miyares said.

An attorney for Bennett, who left the role in 2020 and is now a judge in Virginia Beach, declined comment.

The long-running controversy over the board the membership of which has since been entirely overhauled began with complaints from prosecutors and victims' families about how parole decisions and notifications were handled at the start of the coronavirus pandemic during the tenure of former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. The matter escalated into a bitter dispute that has so far split mostly along partisan lines.

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