Statement of House and Senate Republican Leaders on Inspector General’s Report on Parole Board Misconduct

gshipley2020 General Assembly, Public Safety

House Republican Leader C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), and Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham) today issued the following statement regarding the Office of State Inspector General’s report on Parole Board misconduct:

“We have finally received the Office of State Inspector General report regarding the Virginia Parole Board’s handling of the parole Vincent Martin, the man who murdered Richmond Police Patrolman Michael Connors in 1979.

“The results are shocking. Both previous and current leadership of the Board were actively working for Martin’s release, rather than seeking impartial justice. These two officials worked to systematically exclude the testimony of anyone who opposed his release, including family members. They violated Parole Board policy, and they violated the law in utterly unjustifiable ways.

“We call for the resignation of all current members of the Virginia Parole Board. Should the Parole Board members fail to resign, we call on Governor Northam to fire them, following the precedent set by Governor Warner in 2002.

“We also call for Governor Northam to immediately rescind the parole of Vincent Martin and return him to prison. A new Parole Board, one that acts in accordance with established law and policy, should consider his application for parole de novo.