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Former corrections director Batista temporary Parole Board appointee

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Former state Corrections Director Mike Batista Former state Corrections Director Mike Batista
HELENA -

Former state Corrections Director Mike Batista has been appointed to Montana’s newly configured Board of Pardons and Parole – but said Thursday he plans to serve for only a month or so.

The 2017 Legislature passed a bill creating a five-member, professional Parole Board to replace the old volunteer board.

Gov. Steve Bullock appointed three members to the new board in June, but one of those members decided to withdraw, for personal reasons.

Batista told MTN News he was appointed to fill that spot, while the Bullock administration decides on long-term appointments for three board members.

“I told them I’d be happy to help out,” he said.

The board canceled scheduled July hearings on parole requests because it didn’t have three active members. Corrections officials said the board plans to start hearings in August.

Batista said he agreed to serve through August to help the new board get going and clear some of the backlog.

Bullock administration officials said Thursday they hope to announce the other board appointees in the next couple of weeks.

The other two active appointees to the new board are Scott Cruse, a retired FBI agent, and Annette Carter, re-entry program manager for the Department of Corrections.

Batista retired from the Corrections Department director position last year.

About Mike Dennison

MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison joined MTN News in August 2015 after a 23-year career as a newspaper reporter covering Montana politics and state government. While some may believe that politics are boring, Mike firmly believes that's not the case if you tell the story with pizzazz and let people know why the story is important.
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