HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Helena attorney Mark Staples has been appointed to the state Board of Pardons and Parole.
Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Staples, effective Jan. 1, to replace Mike McKee of Hamilton, who resigned as chairman on Dec. 17. Staples’ appointment must be approved by the state Senate.
Bullock spokesman Mike Wessler said the governor hasn’t nominated a chairman for the seven-member board.
McKee said much of the opposition to his reappointment came from supporters of Barry Beach, who is serving a life sentence for a murder he says he didn’t commit.
A legislative interim committee has recommended bills that would give the governor power to grant clemency even if the board recommends against it. A three-member panel of the board, including McKee, recently declined to forward a clemency recommendation to the governor on behalf of Beach. Bullock had supported commuting Beach’s sentence.