NC senator tapped for parole post

The position as head of the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission will soon be changing hands.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced the appointment of State Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, as the new director last Wednesday.

In order to fulfill his new role on the commission, Sen. Rand will have to leave his seat in the Senate and resign as the senate majority leader. He has worked in elective office for more than 20 years since he was first appointed to the Senate in 1981.

“North Carolina is fortunate that Senator Rand decided to take this position,” Perdue said in a statement last week. “He, like me, cares first and foremost about protecting the public but also understands the importance of giving people a fair shot at a second chance. I don’t believe I could find a better candidate in the state or country to lead this commission.”

Representatives from the commission declined to comment, forwarding all questions directly to Rand.

Rand said he is excited about his new position and that he has always been interested in working in the criminal justice system.

“I should be working on the commission sometime between now and the first of the year, but we haven’t worked out all the details yet,” Rand said. He added that he would be meeting with the current head, Charles Mann, some time next week to discuss the final details for the transition.

Chrissy Pearson, Perdue’s press secretary, noted that Mann chose to retire to a part-time position and was not removed by the governor out of dissatisfaction.

“I have a lot of respect for [Mann] and what he has done as the head of this Commission,” Rand said.

The Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission oversees the process of determining which legal offenders are eligible to be released and the conditions for their post-release supervision.

“I want to make sure that the general public is protected,” Rand said. “Those kinds of things concern me greatly.”

Rand said he does not yet have specific changes in mind for the commission, but will see what he thinks should be done when the time comes.

Rand was Perdue’s first choice and she is very pleased that he accepted the position, Pearson said.

“Gov. Perdue believes that Rand is one of the state’s toughest leaders and believes he will bring that to the board,” Pearson said, adding that his toughness is needed in the position Monday.

Pearson noted that public safety is one of the governor’s top issues and Rand can bring a new way of looking at improving public safety. She added that Rand has supported the Governor’s initiatives to reform the probate and parole system.


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