Thu, Feb 8, 2024 1:39 PM
By Kim Jarrett, The Center Square
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders appointed the chief of staff for the Department of Corrections as its new secretary.
The governor said Thursday she spoke with the Arkansas Board of Corrections Chairman Benny Magness and all board members before naming Lindsay Wallace to the post.
"I appreciate Governor Sanders taking the time to meet with me yesterday and for the nomination of Lindsay Wallace as Secretary of the Department of Corrections, Magness said in a statement. "The board will take action on the governor's nomination as soon as we can get all members present for a meeting."
Sanders and the board have been at odds over who can appoint the secretary. The board fired former DOC secretary Joe Profiri last month. A Pulaski County Judge issued an injunction in a court case filed by the board, saying a new law giving the governor power to appoint the secretary should not go into effect.
Profiri is now an advisor in Sanders' administration.
Last week, the board offered a position to former state senator Eddie Joe Williams, who said he was turning down the appointment this week.
Wallace became chief of staff at the department in August of 2020, according to information from Sanders' office.
"The safety of all Arkansans is my priority," Sanders said in a news release. "I have a responsibility as Governor to ensure our Department of Corrections operates under qualified leadership. I know that Lindsay has the experience to lead the Department and will work diligently to expand prison capacity and end the failed policy of catch and early release."
Wallace started her career with the State of Arkansas as a policy writer with the Department of Human Services. She previously served as director of the Arkansas Sentencing Commission before joining the Department of Corrections, according to information provided by Sanders' office.
"Throughout my years in criminal justice work, I've seen how the status quo has failed crime victims, failed public safety, and failed our state," Wallace said. "I am committed to working with all stakeholders, the Governor, the legislature, and Board of Corrections to ensure we fix our corrections system."