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Roanoke Mayor Lea ending state Parole Board tenure

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Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea is ending eight years of service on the Virginia Parole Board.

Lea, a 69-year-old Democrat, will complete his current term Friday as a new Republican state administration prepares to take over. Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin is scheduled to be sworn in Saturday.

Lea said he sent his resignation letter to state officials early Thursday.

“As Governor Northam’s administration comes to an end, so will my service with the Virginia Parole Board,” the letter said.

The parole board, which has five members, decides whether state inmates qualify for release and rules on violations of release terms. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed Lea to the board in 2014, which was followed by another appointment from Gov. Ralph Northam in 2018.

“I’m stepping away. I have served eight years,” Lea said.

Lea had a 35-year career with the Virginia Department of Corrections, working in adult probation and parole, before joining the parole board. He said he cast thousand of votes while on the board and noted that he was a designated a part-time board member working 22 hours a week. The chair and two other board members work full-time.

Lea’s term as Roanoke mayor runs through 2024. He works as a consultant in human services.

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Jeff Sturgeon covers the city of Roanoke, including schools, banking and transportation. Phone: (540) 981-3251. Email: jeff.sturgeon@roanoke.com. Mail: 201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, VA 24011.

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