RICHMOND, VA – A bill to classify Parole Board votes as public information and subject to FOIA, originally introduced by Delegate Wren Williams (R – Stuart) on January 19th, gained significant bipartisan support and passed the Virginia House of Delegates with a 95-5 vote. Williams submitted this legislation as a response to the series of scandals pertaining to the Parole Board’s votes and disregard for legal guidelines, which led to convicted murderers and cop-killers being released on the street with no notice given to victims’ families. Williams’ bill spearheads the Republican-led effort to make the Parole Board’s actions more accountable and transparent.
“The Virginia Parole Board is made up of public servants who can have a massive impact on the lives of Virginians,” said Williams. “With a single vote, they can release a dangerous killer into a neighborhood and make victims relive the worst moments of their lives again.”
“Before now, votes of the board were shielded from the Freedom Of Information Act. The previous parole board abused this to hide their votes and conceal the fact that they rarely met in person or voted. They corruptly disregarded the rules and the laws.”
“In January, Governor Youngkin fired the corrupt Parole Board so we could start with a clean slate. Moving forward, the Parole Board’s power will come with accountability and transparency. With HB1303 passing, we are fulfilling the promise we made to Virginians and bringing these votes into the sunlight,” Williams concluded.
“Last year the Virginia Parole Board, while ‘drunk with power’ released murders and cop killers without notifying the victims,” said Attorney General Jason Miyares. “This legislation will make the parole process in Virginia more transparent and ensure parole board members are held accountable to the public, so that a scandal like this never happens again.”
Wren Williams is currently the sitting delegate representing Virginia’s 9th House District, serving on the Committee on Public Safety, Committee on Privileges and Elections, and the Committee on Courts of Justice. Prior to running for the House of Delegates, Wren served as Chairman of the Patrick County Republican Committee, where he increased membership, helped flip the board of supervisors to Republican control, and raised money to make Patrick County one of the most active Republican Committees in the Commonwealth, earning the Republican Party of Virginia’s “Unit of the Year” award. During the 2020 election, Wren traveled the country to help the Republican National Committee (RNC) and President Trump fight for voter integrity in the courtroom in Wisconsin. Outside of politics, Wren lives in Stuart, Va. with his wife, Britt, where they own and operate Schneider & Williams Law Firm.