SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Corrections announced Friday new leadership for Adult Probation and Parole.
The front office reshuffling comes on the heels of criticism and public scrutiny caused by a string of parolees who walked away from a halfway house and were later involved in violent crimes, including the shooting death of a police officer.
Corrections Executive Director Rollin Cook has appointed James Hudspeth as the new director of Adult Probation and Parole; Glenn Ercanbrack as the Region 3 administrator, which includes Salt Lake, Tooele and Summit counties; Jeremy Sharp as chief of the department's Law Enforcement Bureau; and James Chipp as the director of the Inmate Placement Program.
On Feb. 11, Cook accepted the resignations of AP&P director Geri Miller-Fox and Wendy Horlacher, the Region 3 administrator.
Their resignations came hours after Gov. Gary Herbert announced an independent review had been launched following several high-profile incidents of parolees walking away from the Fortitude Treatment Center, including:
• Cory Lee Henderson, 31, who walked away from Fortitude just weeks before shooting and killing Unified police officer Doug Barney.
• Robert Richard Berger, 48, who walked away in September before breaking into two Salt Lake homes and nearly stabbing a woman to death before a Salt Lake City police officer shot and killed Berger, saving the woman's life.
• Tommy Burnham, 29, who walked away from Fortitude on Jan. 28. He later got into a chase with police and allegedly rammed a patrol car in an attempt to escape.
About the same time Cook accepted the resignations, he also announced the formation of a Fugitive Response Team whose job is to round up those who walk away from halfway houses such as Fortitude.
Hudspeth had been acting as interim director since Miller-Fox's resignation. Previously, he was chief of the department's Law Enforcement Bureau. He has also served as the administrator for both regions 3 and 4. He began his law enforcement career in 1992 with the Honolulu Police Department. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps after serving for 10 years.
"Jim has worked tirelessly over the past month to strengthen our connections with outside fugitive task forces, while also overseeing efforts of our own Fugitive Response Team, meeting with employees in our regional offices and members of the Glendale community, where Fortitude is located," Cook said. "Jim's work ethic and leadership ability has proven to be off the charts throughout his career with the department."