Governor Names New Colorado Prison Director
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A parolee suspected of killing Colorado’s prisons chief had a list with him when he died that included the names and addresses of other Colorado officials, the El Paso County sheriff said Friday.
Sheriff Terry Maketa said the document was found with Evan Ebel after Ebel was fatally wounded in a shootout with Texas authorities in March.
Ebel is suspected of killing Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements at his home in El Paso County as well as a Denver-area pizza delivery driver, Nathan Leon, before he died in Texas. Maketa’s department is leading the investigation into Clements’ death.
Maketa said Friday he did not recall if Clements’ name was on the list, and that even if it was, he would not discuss it publically. The sheriff added that the list also included the names and addresses of some of Ebel’s friends. Authorities say Ebel was a member of a white supremacist prison gang.
In remarks published Friday, former Colorado parole director Tim Hand told The Denver Post that his and Clements’ names were on the list and that he received police protection because he feared retribution from gang members who were in state prison.
Hand said police installed an alarm system in his Fort Collins home and assigned officers to guard his residence after his name came up as part of an investigation into Clements’ March 19 death, the Post reported.
“You take out the top leadership of corrections like Tom Clements and Tim Hand and you are talking about putting some stripes on people’s shoulders,” Hand told the newspaper.
Maketa said he did not know if Hand’s name was on the list. He declined to comment on any of the other claims made by Hand.
The Corrections Department announced Thursday that Hand had been dismissed, but it did not release the reason.
Hand did not return a telephone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment. Corrections spokeswoman Alison Morgan declined to comment on the Post report Friday.
The Clements killing exposed flaws in Colorado’s criminal justice system. Ebel was released from prison four years early because of a clerical error at the court where he was sentenced. He cut his electronic monitoring bracelet several days before the killings, and parole officers didn’t determine that Ebel had fled for five days.
Last week, state officials said Colorado judges have corrected the sentences of 124 inmates or parolees after an audit ordered after Clements’ slaying found additional errors.
Also on Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper named a former head of the Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections to replace Clements.
Hickenlooper said that Rick Raemisch has experience as a deputy sheriff, prosecutor, elected sheriff and head of a state corrections department where he was responsible for more than 22,000 inmates, more than 73,000 people on probation or parole, and approximately 1,000 juveniles in institutions or under supervision.
Raemisch joined Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections in 2003 and for the next four years worked as division administrator of community corrections, in which he had oversight of 68,000 probation and parole cases. He then worked as deputy secretary and later as head of the department.
Since 2011, Raemisch has worked as dean of the School of Human and Protective Services at Madison College in Madison, overseeing programs in emergency medical services, criminal justice, fire, human services and early childcare education.
“He has a great understanding of crime and the criminal mind from his work as a sheriff and prosecutor,” Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement. “He also understands that most people who are incarcerated will return to our communities and need job skills and treatment.”
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