The Parole Board mayhem continues and Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) is keeping the cannons pointed at the Democrats — and rightfully so.
Appointed entirely by Ralph Northam and Terry McAuliffe, the Parole Board has been deservedly engulfed in controversy for some time now. Reports in the latter part of 2020 hinted at Board members hastily releasing convicted murders. But it wasn’t until a whistleblower came forth within the last month that Virginia got a glimpse into the extent of Northam and McAuliffe’s Parole Board’s transgressions.
However, despite an investigator unearthing information indicating a total disregard for the law by these Democratic appointees, Northam remains complacent, Terry remains silent — and Cox remains determined to ensure accountability is pursued.
When the Parole Board released Vincent Martin last year, who murdered a young police officer execution style and was sentenced to life in prison, Northam and McAuliffe remained intentionally unaware of the situation, while Cox joined other Republicans at the front of the fight, demanding answers. Now we have answers, and they tell us that an investigator revealed the Parole Board broke the law by recklessly releasing 9 convicted murders.
Yet instead of holding his own Board members accountable, Governor Northam has worked exclusively to undermine the investigator who exposed them. Between threats from his senior staff, and an administration-wide attempt to cover up the violations, the investigator turned whistleblower has been denied the respect she deserved.
Despite being awarded a $2,000 bonus for her work on the case, the investigator was discredited by the Governor, strong-armed by his staff, and then fired from her position — fairly on-par behavior from the Northam administration at this point.
With each passing day, Virginia gets a deeper look into just how bad Northam let things get, and just how poor a job the current and former Democratic Governors did when appointing the Board. CBS revealed a disturbing email exchange between Terry McAuliffe’s hand-picked former chairman, Adrienne Bennett, and a Board employee:
“In one email, Bennett says to Hall, ‘I will release anyone you say to release,’ referring to parolees still being supervised.
Hall replied that she felt ‘drunk with power,’ and updated Bennett on her progress.
Bennett responded ‘Wave that wand of power, and let’s cut them loose. There needs to be a silver lining to all this! Give me more!!!’”
Delegate Cox immediately took to twitter, demanding accountability:
“The Parole Board cares nothing for the victims or their families when they wave their magic wand & release violent criminals. Where is the accountability? Gov. Northam must fire the board & put law abiding Virginians first.”
Arguably worse than the aforementioned conversation is the silence of Democrats in Richmond on the matter, something Kirk Cox also took particular issue with:
“McAuliffe & Northam’s Parole Board broke the law by hastily releasing 9 convicted murderers, & Democrats in Richmond are sitting still. Why? Because they refuse to hold their own party accountable. Looks like power’s more important to them than principle.”
Speaking in the clear, assertive terms, the gubernatorial hopeful made it clear to Governor Northam where he stands on the matter:
“When I’m Governor, I’ll clean house: Fire the entire Parole Board and restore integrity and accountability. Because we need a Governor who protects the Commonwealth, not the criminals.”
While other Republicans have joined Kirk Cox in the fight to restore order to Virginia’s Parole Board — notable examples being Senator Mark Obenshain and Del. Jayson Miyares — Cox has been the only candidate for Governor that seems interested in holding Northam, McAuliffe, and the Democrats’ feet to the fire.