Pardon and Parole Board Hires New Executive Director

Sep 14, 2020

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board hired a new executive director on Monday with a unanimous vote.

Tom Bates will now lead the agency. He was most recently a special adviser to the governor and director of an initiative trying to bring together Oklahoma’s health and human services agencies.

Bates was also interim director of the state health department for about a year and a half starting in April 2018. Bates stepped into that role after allegations of financial mismanagement at the agency, and he was in charge as it started up Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program.

Bates replaces Steven Bickley, who resigned last month after saying he was threatened with a grand jury investigation by a pardon and parole board member for doing his job.