NASHVILLE, Tenn.- An assistant commissioner in the Department of Correction has resigned after an investigation found parole officers reported making checks on dozens of parolees who had been dead for months or years.
Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield said in a letter to lawmakers on Thursday that Gary Tullock, who was in charge of community supervision for the department, turned in his resignation after a state audit released this week found 82 parolees being checked were actually dead. That number has risen to 107 now, Schofield said.
Schofield said lawmakers were incorrectly told two parole officers who falsified records were fired. A review showed they had resigned from state service.
Tullock had worked for the state for some 30 years, and was promoted to director of field services in 2004.
"This is about accountability and our commitment to the public. We want the citizens of Tennessee to have full confidence in our ability to supervise offenders," said Department of Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield. "We will continue to work diligently to ensure we will not compromise public safety when it comes the supervision of felony offenders."
The audit of the Board of Parole released Monday discovered employees were making arrest checks of parolees that had been dead anywhere from less than six months to more than 19 years. In at least two cases, officers completed documents stating that the offenders were still alive.
The audit also found that many probation and parole officers were not completing all the supervision requirements. There were many instances of no evidence that officers tried to contact offenders.