MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The new director of Alabama's state parole board says it will take weeks to resume parole hearings.
Director Charlie Graddick said in a news release Monday that the board must get in compliance with a new law signed by Gov. Kay Ivey. The office said the law requires that victims get a 30-day notice prior to hearings.
Graddick said they will resume hearings "as soon as we're sure legal requirements have been met." The agency on Friday cancelled more than 100 parole hearings that were supposed to take place this week.
The new parole board director, who took office Sept. 1, blamed his predecessor for not preparing for the notification requirement.
Lawmakers this year approved changes in parole board procedure and made the director a gubernatorial appointee.
Below is a statement from the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles:
Director Charlie Graddick today said it will take weeks for the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles to resume parole hearings postponed last week.
The board must ensure compliance with a law signed June 6 by Gov. Kay Ivey. Key is the fact that victims must receive a 30-day notice prior to hearings.
“The Board of Operations division is unable to assure me that the docket complies with the law,” he said. “Last week we had to postpone 113 hearings. We’ll resume parole hearings as soon as we’re sure legal requirements have been met.
“We’re working hard to learn if the dockets pass muster legally. It could mean notifying up to 700 people. Addresses must be verified. It’s going to take weeks.
Investigations are underway to uncover how and why the breakdowns occurred. With other allegations pending against the dismissed prior administration, all is proceeding cautiously and meticulously.
Judge Graddick said that last month he asked former director Eddie Cook what had been done to bring the agency into compliance with the new law which has been in effect almost four months. Cook replied, “Nothing has been done.”