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Two Top Officials of Iowa’s Board of Parole Leave Office


Two veteran officials of the Iowa Board of Parole have resigned amid controversy.

Charles Key Jr., 57, the Board of Parole's Executive Director reported he retired under duress last week after serving 13 years on the board.  He stated he found the management style of Chairwoman Doris Kelley to be "condescending" and he was concerned about a provision in an Iowa Senate budget bill that would abolish his position.

Elizabeth Robinson, 59, former Board of Parole's deputy chairwoman, reported leaving her position due to chronic health problems which became too difficult to manage amid the stress of dealing with new board members who held a different philosophical outlook and a hostile work environment.

Friction between Doris Kelley and Charles Key stems from a disagreement on whether or not Key works a full 40-hour workweek. Kelly claims she never knew when Mr. Key worked.  She had instructed Key to be at work every day at 8:00 a.m. and to remain on the job until 4:30 p.m.  

Doris Kelley and two other board members were appointed January 2011 by Gov. Terry Branstad due to concerns the previous board members were not moving quickly enough to release inmates.  

“The governor is extremely pleased with the performance of Chairwoman Doris Kelley and the operations of the Board of Parole.  Under Doris Kelley’s leadership, the board has a strategic vision and a plan to make their operations streamlined and more efficient, with an increased use of technology. The Board of Parole has tremendously improved its communications with the Department of Corrections, and is doing a superb job in serving Iowa’s taxpayers.”

At the time of the new appointments Iowa's prison population was nearly 8,900.  The number rose to a record 9,009 in April, 2011.  Since then the prison population has been reduced to 8,464 inmates.  

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