Sends Letter to Director Mohr Looking for Answers
COLUMBUS--State Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) sent a letter to Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Director Gary Mohr today questioning the abrupt removal of Cathy Collins-Taylor and Jose Torres from the Parole Board last week.
Director Mohr provided little explanation to the Dayton Daily News other than to say he continues to "seek the right people for the right positions."
More than a year after Gov. Kasich took office and Director Mohr was appointed this sudden removal appears to be politically motivated.
A copy of Rep. Heard's letter can be seen below.
Dear Director Mohr,
I am troubled by the recent news that two extraordinarily well-qualified individuals - Cathy Collins-Taylor and Jose Torres - were abruptly removed from the Ohio Parole Board last week with little explanation.
These two individuals have served the board well and to remove them at this time makes it appear as if they are being targeted because of their party affiliation, not because of their job qualifications.
The only explanation provided for their removal, according to the Dayton Daily News, was because you continue to "seek the right people for the right positions." This does not serve as an explanation for why Ms. Collins-Taylor and Mr. Torres were removed from their positions. Frankly, this vague response only supports the suspicion that their removal was motivated by partisan politics.
The members of the Parole Board are tasked with determining whether those convicted of serious crimes should be released or remain incarcerated. A Parole Board member holds a position of public trust. The members help Ohioans remain safe, a responsibility that no one should take lightly. It is my hope that the new additions to the Parole Board are at least as qualified at Ms. Collins-Taylor and Mr. Torres.
At a time when there is an eagerness to promote bipartisanship, it is very troubling that you would remove these two officials for what appears to be partisan reasons.
Yours in Service,
Tracy Maxwell Heard
Minority Whip Ohio House of Representatives
Cc: Governor John Kasich