Gov. Kay Ivey is appointing Mobile’s director of municipal courts and former Alabama Attorney General Charles Graddick to serve as Director of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles — a board Ivey pushed to overhaul during this year’s legislative session.
During the 2019 regular session, Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall championed legislation aimed at reforming the Board of Pardons and Paroles. With this new law, the governor has the authority to appoint the director.
A two-term attorney general, Graddick comes to the post with an extensive background in law and public service. He was first elected to office when he became Mobile County’s youngest district attorney at the age of 28.
“From the start of his career, Judge Graddick dedicated his life to serving the people of Alabama and protecting the law. These are necessary qualities to lead Pardons and Paroles,” Ivey said. “As our state’s top law enforcement official, he was a national leader in advocating for victims’ rights and in prosecuting crimes. I am proud to have someone of Judge Graddick’s experience and caliber at the helm of this board. Public safety is paramount.”
During Judge Graddick’s two terms as Alabama’s attorney general, he established the first statewide Victim’s Assistance Office. Judge Graddick also served as chairman of the Southern Association of Attorneys General. He also served as a Circuit Judge in Mobile County.
Most recently, he served as Mobile’s director of courts, where he has been responsible for a dramatic restructure and reform of the city’s justice system. However.
“Judge Graddick is an outstanding choice to take on the important job of leading the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said in a statement. “Charlie served the City of Mobile with distinction as Senior Judicial Advisor and Director of Courts, where he was responsible for significant improvements to the city’s justice system. “I salute him for his service to his hometown of Mobile and he will be missed as part of my Administration. I am confident he will be an asset to Gov. Ivey and the citizens of Alabama, and we wish him well in this new assignment.”
It was recently discovered that Graddick had been hearing cases despite only serving in an advisory capacity.
Under state law, only the Mobile City Council has the authority to appoint municipal judges, and after reports of Graddick hearing cases were first published by Lagniappe, the city announced that “out of an abundance of caution” Graddick would no longer be serving as a judge.
In a press release from Ivey’s office Friday, Graddick acknowledged that the would be taking the new position in a time of transition after concerns were raised by local and state law enforcement officials about the management and performance of Alabama’s parole board.
“The governor, attorney general and the public have made it clear that our Board of Pardons and Paroles must carry out their duties to ensure justice for victims and safety for all of our citizens. That means that we need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the operation and make necessary improvements to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency,” Graddick said. “I am honored to lead these efforts as Director. Serving in this capacity, I hope to leave Alabama a safer place to live and raise a family.”
Prior to his career as a prosecutor and judge, Graddick clerked for Alabama Supreme Court Justice Daniel T. McCall. He served also served in the Army Reserve and Alabama National Guard. After 23 years of service, he retired as Major, Judge Advocate General.
Graddick will replace current ABPP Director Eddie Cook. The new law, HB380, goes into effect September 1, 2019, which is when Graddick’s appointment will take effect.
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