WAAY 31 I-TEAM: Alabama parole board leadership still in place despite law change

The new law won't take effect until September 1st.

Posted: Jul 10, 2019 6:09 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2019 6:53 PM

The WAAY 31 I-Team learned the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles Chairperson Lyn Head's term expired in June, but she's still in charge.

The I-Team pressed Governor Kay Ivey while she was on a visit to Huntsville to find out why Head is still the lead, despite state officials saying the parole system is broken under the current leadership.

As Governor Ivey came off of the stage at the Von Braun Center, she did a brief interview with the media, where we asked why Head was still the chairperson of the parole board.

"Well she is still there because we haven't been able to find the right person yet to fill the vacancy, but we will be making those as soon as we can," said Ivey.

Under the parole law, which goes into effect September 1st, the governor will appoint a person to serve over the three-person board. The law also makes it easier for the governor to appoint the board members she wants.

Currently, Eddie Cook is still the executive director of the parole board, despite the fact he likely broke state law by sending an email directing parole employees to use state time and vehicles to contest the parole bill in May. We asked why Cook was still in charge, too.

"If it's time, if and when, there is an appointment, I will obviously make that announcement," said Ivey.

The WAAY 31 I-Team uncovered a series of flaws in the parole system that led to a career criminal, Jimmy Spencer, being paroled even though documents show he was a violent man while in prison. He wasn't monitored after he was paroled.

Within six months of his release, Spencer was arrested on drug charges and had multiple run-ins with police, but his parole was never revoked. He was then arrested for murdering two elderly women and a seven-year-old in Guntersville almost one year ago. We asked Ivey what her message is to those families.

"Well we've changed the law to prevent early parole by serious offenders like that because the main job of the Pardon and Parole Board is to protect public safety," said Ivey.

To be clear, Jimmy Spencer was not an early parolee. Prior to his release, the parole board also failed to notify Spencer's previous victim in another case, a mistake the board admitted to. Yet, the same leadership that didn't follow its own policies and procedures is still in charge.

Once the new law goes into effect, we will see if real change happens.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 45°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 48°
Decatur
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 50°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 48°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 822085

Reported Deaths: 12001
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby914971575
Davidson86563918
Knox48960619
Hamilton42811480
Rutherford41428415
Williamson26942213
Sumner22909338
Montgomery18780223
Out of TN17852101
Wilson17747223
Unassigned16441132
Sullivan15781283
Blount14839194
Bradley14284147
Washington13850240
Sevier12986174
Maury12901166
Putnam11072173
Madison10628240
Robertson9486127
Anderson8539171
Hamblen8409169
Greene7645151
Tipton7171104
Coffee6782121
Dickson6643108
Cumberland6461127
Gibson6355144
Bedford6350126
Carter6332156
McMinn625595
Roane6124101
Jefferson6008121
Loudon595869
Lawrence573186
Hawkins5682105
Monroe564395
Warren549481
Dyer5340104
Franklin504987
Fayette484578
Obion447196
Cocke439598
Cheatham436551
Rhea428075
Lincoln427963
Marshall407358
Campbell405462
Weakley398761
Giles391298
Henderson368375
Carroll355582
Macon354375
White351468
Hardin346166
Hardeman345063
Lauderdale312744
Henry309775
Marion307246
Scott303145
Claiborne302373
Overton294360
Wayne294134
Hickman278345
McNairy275354
DeKalb273953
Smith271737
Haywood267660
Grainger255449
Trousdale247822
Morgan242839
Fentress236346
Johnson226738
Chester208651
Bledsoe208211
Crockett199848
Polk196024
Unicoi191149
Cannon187531
Union184034
Grundy176431
Lake169526
Humphreys168721
Sequatchie165228
Benton160940
Decatur156438
Lewis154826
Meigs132123
Stewart129328
Jackson129235
Clay108331
Houston107333
Perry105628
Moore99217
Van Buren82621
Pickett75524
Hancock53612

Community Events