Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Parole Board Only Has One Black, Triggering Outrage From Black and Latino Caucus
For the past six years, Henry Lemons, a former deputy chief investigator in the state attorney general’s office and longtime Brooklyn prosecutor served on the board. His term recently expired and was not renewed by Cuomo.
Now, only one black representative of the 11-person parole board remains: Chairwoman Andrea Evans. No black men are on the board, making evident a disparity between the makeup of the board as compared to the population they’re working for. According to records, 49 percent of all NY state prison inmates are black and 93 percent of them are men.
The minority caucus has noted that as recently as last year, board members whose terms had expired were renewed. Four parole board members originally appointed by ex-Republican Gov. George Pataki were kept on after their terms expired last year while Lemon’s contract was not.
A spokesman for Cuomo noted that Cuomo recently reappointed a Hispanic woman to the parole board and also mentioned Chairwoman Evans. He said that the administration will continue to make efforts to ensure diversity.
“The administration will continue to recruit candidates for the Parole Board and make appointments to ensure and enhance racial and geographic diversity,” spokesman Richard Azzopardi said in an interview.
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