4
| News |

Chief Michaud Given Parole

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

It's old home week in the Ritter administration, as multi-pensioned top cops who worked with the guv when he was Denver's DA find new state criminal-justice jobs. Former Denver police chief Ari Zavaras was recruited to try to fix the bloated budget at the Department of Corrections -- again; and today ex-DPD chief Dave Michaud was nominated to head the Colorado Parole Board, a supposedly thankless job that still manages to render $91,428 a year in bare-bones compensation.

Michaud replaces Al Stanley (above), who presided over a board that, through the Owens years, squeezed discretionary parole to a trickle and helped to shape the prison overcrowding problem that we now have.

An alert reader recently wrote to point out that Stanley was never reconfirmed for a third term by the state senate last year, due to a paperwork snafu; technically, this reader insists, the parole board has been operating illegally ever since.

The bigger problem, though, is that in the Owens years the board neatly evaded the statutory requirement to have four ordinary "citizens" among its seven members, in addition to representatives of law enforcement. Stanley's board was made up of two citizens, an ex-parole officer, an ex-police chief, an ex-state trooper, a former corrections officer and Stanley himself, who has thirty years in law enforcement.

Will Michaud's board be any different? That will depend on who else Ritter appoints as vacancies become available. In the meantime, for a better understanding of how the parole failure rate costs us all, check out the feature "Over and Over Again" and "I Shall Be Released," our ongoing blog series about the parole struggles of Casey Holden. --Alan Prendergast

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.