The Arkansas Board of Correction has dismissed the director of the Arkansas Community Correction department in a move supported by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Sheila Sharp, the longtime director of ACC — the agency that oversees parole, probation and prisoner transitions – was fired after a two hour executive session meeting of the board that oversees the department. Board members did not discuss the termination after their action, but Sharp offered documents to the media following the Thursday afternoon (July 19) session.
According to content partner KATV Ch. 7, Sharp said she anticipated the move after meeting with Gov. Hutchinson earlier in the week. She distributed a nine-page document that showed positive performance reviews as current as two months ago.
Sharp said that a dispute over budget resources for the agency may have been the main reason for her dismissal.
“We have followed all the Governor’s recommendations for implementation of efficiencies in every area of our operation. Forcing government reductions for the sake of tax cuts without due consideration of the dangers to the public lead to hard lessons being relearned,” Sharp told KATV in reference to a controversy earlier this decade when parolees committed crimes due to lax sentencing standards.
Hutchinson provided a statement to Talk Business & Politics that reads: “I support today’s decision by the Arkansas Board of Correction. I appreciate Director Sharp’s work and service to the state over the years and wish her well in her future opportunities.”
Chief Deputy Director Kevin Murphy was named interim director.