July 06, 2012

Lawmakers: fix racial disparity on Parole Board

Extract from a NY Daily News article:

ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is taking heat from minority lawmakers for not renewing the term of the lone black male on the state Parole Board.

Henry Lemons, a former deputy chief investigator in the state attorney general's office and longtime Brooklyn prosecutor, was cut loose when his six-year term expired recently.

Members of the Legislature's Black and Latino Caucus have bemoaned the disparity that exists between the board's membership and the general population of state inmates. Records show that 49% of all state prison inmates are black, and of that number, 93% are men.

Lemons' departure means that Chairwoman Andrea Evans is the only black representative out of the 11 current members of the board.

No reason was given for the decision not to reappoint Lemons, who was initially selected by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

"I have spoken to the governor in sharing my displeasure," said Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Bronx Democrat and member of the caucus.

Sen. Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat and a former NYPD cop, also spoke of the need for a black man on the board: "It's almost crucial that you have that representation."

Minority lawmakers are said to be particularly upset that four Parole Board members originally appointed by ex-Republican Gov. George Pataki were kept on after their terms expired last year...

For complete article, see:
Lawmakers: fix racial disparity on Parole Board, by Kenneth Lovett (NY Daily News, July 3 2012)