- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The longtime chairman of the state Board of Pardons and Parole has decided not to seek another four-year term.

Mike McKee had asked Gov. Steve Bullock in November to reappoint him as chairman, but he submitted a resignation letter Wednesday, Lee Newspapers of Montana reported. McKee has been on the board for 11 of the past 14 years.

McKee of Hamilton did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press on Monday morning seeking comment.

The 2013 Legislature ordered a legislative committee to study the parole board’s rules and powers after lawmakers received complaints from the families of inmates and others that it appeared inconsistent or too strict in granting parole requests.

Bullock supported commuting the sentence of convicted murderer Barry Beach, but a three-member panel of the board, including McKee, declined to forward a clemency recommendation to the governor.

Lawmakers are expected to consider legislation during the upcoming session that would give the governor the power to grant clemency without a recommendation, give the governor the authority to remove the chairman and require the board to videotape its hearings.

Bullock will appoint a new chairman, who will have to be confirmed by the state Senate.

The parole board announced Friday that Timothy Allred was named its executive director. The former parole board analyst from Great Falls takes over for Fern Osler-Johnson, who retired in November.

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