New Mexico Gov. Removes Parole Board Leader
By Kate Nash - Albuquerque Journal Capitol Bureau
Saturday, August 14, 2004
SANTA FE Gov. Bill Richardson on Friday removed the
executive director of the State Adult Parole Board for failing
to notify victims of a parole hearing for sex-offender priest
Executive Director Bob Martinez apologized on Thursday for
failing to notify victims before the May hearing, when Holley's
parole was granted. His parole has since been rescinded.
But Richardson fired Martinez on Friday, saying he was responsible
for the oversight. "The Adult Parole Board's failure to notify victims about
this hearing was a violation of the state constitution and
a serious breach of public trust," Richardson said.
Also on Friday, State Parole Board Chairman Tim Kline defended
his decision to parole Holley, saying he showed remorse for
his crimes during a one-hour interview he and another board
member had with him in May.
Kline, a former Albuquerque city councilor and former police
lieutenant, said that he read Holley's file and became convinced
that the stringent conditions placed on him were sufficient.
Holley, now 77, was sentenced in 1993 for molesting eight
boys while he served as a priest at the St. Jude Mission in
Alamogordo. He was sentenced to a minimum of 55 years and
a maximum of 275 years for his crimes.
"With the number of restrictions we placed on him ...
his age, his health, he was a (parole) candidate," Kline
"He talked about his remorse and the pain he had caused
and how he had prayed for victims, knowing he wasn't going
to be forgiven."
But Holley's victims weren't notified about his parole hearing
in May, as required by law.
Kline on Friday apologized for the error. The parole board
plans to hold a new hearing on Sept. 14.
"As director, Bob Martinez is accountable for the actions
of the board and its employees, and this kind of error will
not be tolerated," the governor said. "The public,
especially crime victims, must have complete confidence in
When asked for comment Friday, Martinez said "I serve
at the pleasure of the governor."
Holley remains behind bars at the Central New Mexico Correctional
Facility near Los Lunas, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman
Kline joined another board member, Lisa Enfield, in granting
the parole. Enfield couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
Kline said at the time of the hearing he believed the victims
had been notified and only learned of the notification error
Holley's parole would have required electronic monitoring
and intense supervision, Kline said, in addition to a curfew
and being barred from contact with minors unless supervised.
However, Holley apparently considered the parole board's conditions
too stringent. According to KOAT-TV, Holley sent a letter saying he did not
want to take part in a sexual offender program.
Holley said he did not want to be electronically monitored
or to be listed as a sex offender, saying those conditions
"make living outside more oppressive considering my age
Richardson, who has called for tougher sex-offender laws,
said the board made the wrong decision.
"I'm outraged the board would grant parole to this offender
given the seriousness of the crimes and the length of the
original sentence," Richardson said in a statement issued
Friday. "I will not stop working to ensure our criminal
laws and sentences are enforced and the rights of victims
are not abused or ignored."
Copyright 2004 Albuquerque Journal