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Probation chief out as Perdue names three to cabinet

Posted January 2, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Eight days before her inauguration, Governor-elect Beverly Perdue on Friday filled three public safety positions in her new cabinet.

Perdue named Reuben Young as secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, retired Marine Col. Alvin Keller Jr. as secretary of the Department of Correction and Linda Wheeler Hayes as secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Reuben Young Perdue shakes up public-safety leaders

Perdue spokesman David Kochman also said Robert Guy, director of the Division of Community Corrections for the past 11 years, "will not be coming back" in the new administration. Kochman declined to say whether Guy resigned or was asked to leave.

In an interview with WRAL News two weeks ago, Guy said the change in administrations left him unsure of his future.

"I feel like I have a lot to contribute. At the same time, that's the business," he said.

The Division of Community Corrections came under fire last year following the slayings of Eve Carson, the student body president at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato. One suspect who is charged in both deaths and a second suspect who is accused in Carson's death were on probation at the time of the two killings, but their probation officers failed to keep close tabs on them.

“The failed leadership of the past cannot lead us into the future,” Durham City Councilman Eugene Brown said Friday. “So that’s the good news that he’s (Guy) gone.”

Durham councilman weighs in on Guy Durham councilman weighs in on Guy

Guy has acknowledged his department made mistakes, but he said decisions by judges, limited funding and state laws often hindered the department's efforts.

"It is what it is where we are today, and so my point is start now and move forward," Perdue said in announcing Keller's appointment.

An assistant attorney general who previously served as a chief circuit military judge for the Navy and Marines, Keller said he wants more cases of rehabilitation with fewer cases of repeat offenders.

"People being placed on probation will have to understand there are adverse consequences for not following the condition of their paroles," he said.

Young has served as chief legal counsel to outgoing Gov. Mike Easley and previously was an assistant attorney general in both North Carolina and Texas.

Like Keller, Young assumes command of a troubled department. The state Highway Patrol has had a number of disciplinary cases involving troopers accused of profiling women for traffic stops, driving drunk, having sex on duty and abusing animals.

"I wanted somebody with courage not to just accept the status quo but to shake things up," Perdue said.

A statewide group representing more than 500 troopers said though Young is highly competent, they aren't convinced he represents the reform the agency needs.

"I know the department and the people who work there," Young said.

“Mr. Young has worked with the Highway Patrol in the past and is well respected in the law enforcement community. We look forward to working with him again,” N.C. State Highway Patrol Commander Col. Walter J. Wilson Jr. said in a statement Friday.

Hayes is chairwoman of the Governor's Crime Commission, overseeing federal grants for victims programs, information technology, drug control and substance abuse and juvenile justice, and she chairs the Southern region of the National Coalition of Juvenile Justice Advisory Groups.

Perdue also said retired Army Maj. Gen. Gerald Rudisill Jr. would remain as chief deputy of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and named Jennie Lou Lancaster as chief operating officer of the Department of Correction. Lancaster is a department veteran who retired in 2004 and has since been a trainer for the National Institute of Corrections.

She gave each appointee an order to report back in 60 days with the five most pressing problems facing his or her agency, adding that she has zero tolerance for surprises.

At least five members of Easley's cabinet don't plan on working for Perdue, including the secretaries of administration, commerce, correction, juvenile justice and health and human services.

25 Comments

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  • give me no quarter Jan 2, 2009

    Eugene Brown does not have a clue as to what is going on around him. I know he was proud that his name was mentioned in this story but he is still clueless. Purdue had no choise. Certain people had to be replaced for backlash reasons alone. Mr. Brown hints that he has a solution. Well let's here it. Under paid and over worked Probation Officres would love to hear your plan. Hugging up to Purdue and being a yes man is not a good start. Were you hands tied during the previous administration? Did something suddenly cross your mind? A joke. A bad one

  • COPs eye Jan 2, 2009

    All I can say is I didnt vote for her, but I dont think it really matters who is in office they are all out for themselves anyways.

  • UNCfuturealumi Jan 2, 2009

    Hockeyrules, She is an issue. Someone has to be paid to man those offices as well as the lights and fuel. Maybe you are one of them, if so, you will soon get a belly full and if you are not you will get a belly full.

  • ghimmy51 Jan 2, 2009

    And will somebody please remove Wiley Jones from DOT? He's the guy responsible for the I-40 fiasco.

  • Sweetgrl3 Jan 2, 2009

    FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS.....BYE BYE BYE ROBERT. DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU. Do you need some help cleaning out your desk? I don't mind helping.

  • PowderedToastMan Jan 2, 2009

    This guy did such a poor job- he is completely useless and should feel ashamed of what a poor job he did running the joke of a system. I know quite a few idiots on probatio now that continue to break the law.

  • ghimmy51 Jan 2, 2009

    I wouldn't call Robert Guy anything but incompetent and lacking in leadership skills to pull his department together and make it work in a reasonable fashion. I'd also like to see the upper ranks of DOT cleaned out and put some people in there on a probationary basis. Perform or get out.

  • affirmativediversity Jan 2, 2009

    What's the matter? Did he fail to give Perdue a big enough campaign contribution, or something?

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Jan 2, 2009

    Don't be intimidated PBJ. Even in a blind "taste test," both Perdue AND Easley would certainly pass for Republicans "easily."

    I'm a registered Dem and didn't vote for either.

  • davidgnews Jan 2, 2009

    Hopefully she'll add D.O.T. to the list.

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