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Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board Names New Executive Director


The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted unanimously today to hire Tom Bates as its new Executive Director. The board voted to give Bates the job effective immediately.

The board’s Chairman Robert Gilliland touted Bates’ years of service to the state and said he was the “perfect” choice.

Bates took over the Oklahoma State Department of Health in 2018 after the agency's leaders were accused of mismanaging state funds.

He is currently a special advisor to the governor and is in charge of an initiative to help the state’s health and human services agencies work together more efficiently. Bates also spent about 15 years working in the state attorney general’s office.

Bates replaces Steve Bickley who resigned as the Pardon and Parole Board’s executive director shortly after a board member lodged vague accusations of criminal conduct against him.

Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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