Northam proposes funding for parole board review

Northam proposes funding for parole board review

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has proposed funding for an outside review of the Virginia Parole Board, but Republicans say his proposal is too little, too late.

Northam offered a budget amendment of $250,000 to pay for an independent review of an investigation conducted by the Office of the State Inspector General after the release of inmate Vincent Martin.

Martin was serving a life sentence for the murder of a Richmond police officer, when he was paroled last year.

Republicans say the review doesn’t go far enough.

“This is not a real investigation,” said Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach). “They’re only looking at one of the many different cases of these violent criminals being let out in violation of the law, because they never notified or attempted to notify the victims before these violent criminals entered back onto our streets and back into society.”

Miyares said Democrats are playing politics with the issue.

“I want to see a real investigation, not this band-aid that the governor has put on to try to silence his critics,” he said

In a written statement, a spokesperson for the governor said Northam is proposing a third-party investigation precisely because it takes politics out of the process.

Democratic State Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) agreed.

“Basically they’ve been complaining he needs an investigation, so he’s doing one,” Edwards said. “That makes perfectly good sense to me, so he’s doing exactly the right thing.”

Expect to hear more about this next week, when lawmakers reconvene to act on the Governor’s amendments.

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