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Governor fills one of Board of Executive Clemency vacancies

justiceGov. Jan Brewer has appointed a retired Department of Corrections employee to fill one of two vacancies on the Board of Executive Clemency.

Board Chairman Brian Livingston said he asked Donna Harris, whose job was to compute time prisoners serve, to begin work today. 

Livingston said Harris won’t participate in the clemency hearing for Edward Schad, who is scheduled for execution on Oct. 9, because she won’t have the four weeks of training required by law to serve on the board.

He said she should have enough training for the hearing for Robert Jones, who is scheduled to be executed Oct. 23. Neither clemency hearing has been scheduled yet.

The two vacancies came about when former member Melvin Thomas resigned Aug. 5 in frustration over working with former Chairman Jesse Hernandez.

Hernandez resigned Aug. 16 in the wake of an investigative report by the Department of Administration, which found that he created a hostile work environment, dated a subordinate and arranged for a large pay raise and promotion for her.  The report also found that he showed favoritism towards the brother of New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire, Marwan Williams, an inmate serving time for his part in a murder.  

The DOA report, however, was found to be inaccurate as it pertained to a hearing involving Williams, according to an audio recording of the hearing.

Livingston said he does not know when the next appointment will take place.

Harris must still be confirmed by the Senate, but she can begin work immediately.

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