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Parole board considers 4 candidates for top post

Jun 23, 2015 | by Lynn Powell

A final decision should be announced next month, board Chairman Vanessa Price said. A former federal prosecutor, two community corrections officials and a director for the District Attorneys Council are the four finalists vying for the top administrative post at the state Pardon and Parole Board. The candidates, announced Monday during the board’s monthly meeting, are former federal prosecutor Kim Kakish; Reginald Hines, community corrections manager for the Department of Corrections; Kevin Duckworth, a former community corrections official in Colorado; and DeLynn Fudge, a director at the District Attorneys Council. The board received about 20 applications for the executive director position, but the search was narrowed to four qualified candidates, Chairman Vanessa Price said.

A final decision should be announced next month, board Chairman Vanessa Price said.

by Jennifer Palmer Modified: June 22, 2015 at 9:23 pm •  Published: June 23, 2015

A former federal prosecutor, two community corrections officials and a director for the District Attorneys Council are the four finalists vying for the top administrative post at the state Pardon and Parole Board.

The candidates, announced Monday during the board’s monthly meeting, are former federal prosecutor Kim Kakish; Reginald Hines, community corrections manager for the Department of Corrections; Kevin Duckworth, a former community corrections official in Colorado; and DeLynn Fudge, a director at the District Attorneys Council.

The board received about 20 applications for the executive director position, but the search was narrowed to four qualified candidates, Chairman Vanessa Price said.

“We’re glad to have such a great selection — and certainly a diverse selection — to choose from,” Price said.

Interviews with the four will be conducted in coming weeks, with a final decision announced next month, Price said.

Kakish, of Oklahoma City, served as a federal prosecutor in Oklahoma City from 1991 to 2004, according to her resume. She then worked as an adjunct professor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law from 2004 to 2010, and also has served on the board of several nonprofits.

Though Kakish’s license to practice law lapsed in 2009 for failing to keep up with continuing education requirements, she applied for reinstatement last week, court records show. As a federal prosecutor, she tried over 500 cases, including several high-profile drug cases.

A potential conflict of interest led the board’s vice chairman, Patricia High, to agree to exclude herself from considering Kakish because of a personal relationship.

“I have known her for some time,” High said Monday. High, an attorney, represented Kakish in a divorce action earlier this year, court records show.

Hines, of Oklahoma City, has 26 years of experience in corrections, according to his resume. He’s served in his current position at the Department of Corrections since 2005.

Hines also has been warden or deputy warden at several prison facilities in Oklahoma, most recently the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center.

He earned a Bachelor of Administration degree from Langston University.

Fudge, has been the federal grants division director for the District Attorneys Council since 2001. Before that, she was a program coordinator for the Office of Child Abuse Prevention at the state Health Department for more than a decade.

Fudge, of Oklahoma City, earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Duckworth worked as a regional director for Community Education Centers, a private community corrections operator, in Denver, from 1999 until earlier this year. He now lives in Norman.

Duckworth began his corrections career with stints as a probation officer and probation supervisor, according to his resume. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Former Executive Director Van Guillotte resigned May 11 after six weeks on the job. The reason for his departure has not been made public.

The executive director’s salary ranges from $90,000 to $110,000.