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Oklahoma County prosecutor again questions parole board's actions

Oklahoma County district attorney questions how the state parole board changed the parole status of inmate Patricia Spottedcrow and others.
by Nolan Clay and Randy Ellis Published: August 30, 2012

Tuesday, Spottedcrow was sent by bus to the prison in Taft. She was sent back to the Hillside facility in Oklahoma City the same day, though, after corrections officials learned her parole status had been changed again — to parole recommendation suspended.

Her attorney said she had to contact the governor's office Wednesday to clear up that Spottedcrow still could begin working — at a restaurant — while at the Hillside facility.

Six other inmates also have had their early release recommendations suspended, parole board Deputy Director J.D. Daniels said.

Prater was critical of the board again Wednesday, questioning how the statuses of the seven inmates could be changed without a public vote by the Pardon and Parole Board. He said his criminal investigation will include how the status changes were done.

The chairwoman of the Pardon and Parole Board agreed to a moratorium on certain early releases after Prater first made his accusations this month, Daniels said.

The chairwoman acted at the request of the governor and no board vote was taken, he said.

The governor's office said Wednesday: “Governor Fallin asked for a moratorium on early release cases out of an abundance of caution. The implementation of the moratorium was left up to the Pardon and Parole Board, which determined the parameters of the moratorium. The board expanded the parameters of the moratorium to include cases acted on by the governor.”

by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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