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Youngkin announces 4 new Virginia parole board picks

April 6, 2022 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced new nominees Wednesday to serve on the Virginia Parole Board, after Senate Democrats’ decision last month to dump four members of his initial slate of picks.

The four nominees were caught up in a partisan back-and-forth over appointments during this year’s regular session of the divided General Assembly.

The new nominees are: Samuel Boone Jr., a Virginia State Police trooper and 9/11 first responder; Steven Buck, a former state and federal prosecutor; Michelle Dermyer, a law enforcement advocate and the widow of VSP trooper Chad Phillip Dermyer, who was killed in the line of duty in Richmond in 2016; and Toby Vick, a lawyer who has worked as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

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“This group of individuals will restore common sense, reform the Parole Board, and stand up for victims’ rights,” Youngkin said in a statement.

Under Virginia law, a limited number of inmates are eligible for parole. The parole board members decide whether to grant parole and can revoke parole. The board also acts on requests for geriatric release.

The board has been under heightened scrutiny since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when it engaged in an accelerated and sometimes chaotic release of inmates. Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares announced on the day he was sworn into office that he had opened an investigation into the board’s actions.

The new group, also subject to legislative approval, will join board chairman Chadwick Dotson, the only initial Youngkin nominee who was confirmed.