MO Parole Board Member Quits Over Games at Hearings

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Donald Ruzicka, who has faced scrutiny for playing games involving inmates at parole hearings, submitted his resignation from the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Board Chairman Kenneth Jones accepted the resignation. “Members of the board must be held to a higher standard in order to do the work that is requested of them to ensure that all parties involved are equally heard during the hearing process before a final decision is made,” Jones said.

Last week, a human rights law firm called on Gov. Eric Greitens to remove Ruzicka from the board for toying with inmates during hearings. A previously undisclosed state investigation found that Ruzicka and a Department of Corrections employee entertained themselves at some hearings by trying to get inmates to say words and song titles such as “platypus” and “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight.” They even kept score, according to corrections Inspector General Amy Roderick. Her report concluded that Ruzicka and the employee who attended parole hearings violated a governor’s executive order and other procedures by failing to conduct state government in a manner that “inspires confidence and trust.” Greitens said that, “The reports of Mr. Ruzicka’s actions were disturbing. Playing games at parole board hearings is unacceptable behavior.”

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