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California Parole Board Executive Officer Resigns After Caught Drinking on Duty

The Executive Officer of California’s Board of Parole Hearings (Board), who was the passenger in a state car driven by another Board employee, resigned after police stopped the car and arrested the driver for DUI.

John Monday, 56, a 34-year veteran state employee, held the top position at the Board – Executive Officer (a gubernatorial appointment). On November 27, 2007, he was riding with associate chief deputy commissioner Robert Thomas Rodriguez, 57, when Merced city police arrested Rodriguez for driving with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

In his resignation letter to the governor, Monday admitted he had been drinking during a dinner while conducting official business following a speech at a women’s prison in Chowchilla. He wrote that his “judgment on that day was deficient and unprofessional,” and offered his regrets and resignation. Rodriguez remains employed with the Board.

In a separate incident, parole supervisor Ed Carnegie was placed on temporary reassignment in Dec. 2007 after he reportedly used whiteout to alter official documents to cause parolees to be released early from supervision. In six cases, Carnegie allegedly overruled parole agents’ recommendations that the parolees be continued on parole. While Carnegie had the power to do this, he did not have authority to alter the documents.

According to state Rep. Todd Spitzer, the parole department was under pressure to release parolees quickly due to the overcrowding crisis in California’s prison system. Fewer parolees would mean fewer potential revocations, and thus fewer parolees re-incarcerated.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News

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