Local News

Perdue defends decision to hire inmate

Posted November 2, 2009 10:04 p.m. EST
Updated November 3, 2009 8:29 a.m. EST

— Gov. Bev Perdue is defending her decision to hire a woman convicted of murder to work in her office.

“Sally Holloman came to me to work in my office on a DOC – a Department of Correction sanction work release program,” Perdue said Monday.

While she was lieutenant governor, Perdue hired Holloman to work in her office. Holloman was convicted in 1981 of murdering her husband and a Selma businessman.

Perdue recently blocked the release of 27 North Carolina inmates, serving life for rape and murder and other violent crimes.

The inmates were scheduled to be released Oct. 29 after state courts agreed with one of the inmates, double murderer Bobby Bowden, that a 1970s law defined a life sentence as 80 years.

The 1981 Fair Sentencing Act included a retroactive provision essentially cutting all those sentences in half, and good behavior and other credits have shortened the sentences to the point that they are now complete.

“I just continue to be adamantly opposed against their release and will do everything in my power to keep it from happening,” Perdue said.

Perdue said her decision to block the release of those inmates is “totally different” from her decision to hire Holloman to work in her office.

“I’m talking about people who were on death row, who were taken off death row by the courts,” she said.

Three of the 27 inmates were also enrolled in a transitional work release program, and would have been free to pursue work outside prison walls before the governor's decision.

Perdue said her concern is that the inmates would be released without supervision. Attorney General Roy Cooper is preparing the state's case against their release.