Archive for Saturday, March 10, 2001

Employees contesting punishment

March 10, 2001


— Two parole employees are contesting their punishments for a paperwork error that mistakenly freed too early a man charged in the shooting of five Wichita residents.

Preston Miller, a parole officer who was fired, and James Chastain, a parole supervisor who was suspended without pay for a week, have appealed their punishments to the state's Civil Service Board, said Karen Watney, a manager with the Kansas Division of Personnel Services.

Miller's lawyer, Gregory Lee, said Miller has had a good career and was a good parole officer. Miller, who worked in the Garden City parole office, had been with the Kansas Department of Corrections for about 20 years.

Chastain, the Hutchinson supervisor who was suspended, declined to comment. But his lawyer, Joe McCarville, said Chastain has been an exemplary employee who has worked at the Kansas Department of Corrections for about 20 years.

Appeal hearings for Miller and Chastain have been scheduled for the week of April 2.

The Department of Corrections said the error that prompted Carr's premature release from jail involved a mistake in a number entered on a worksheet that mistakenly gave Carr credit for good behavior in prison.

As a result, Carr's parole supervision ended Dec. 1, six months early.

Two days after he went free, a crime spree began in Wichita. It included the robberies and fatal shootings of five people. Carr, 23, and his brother, Jonathan, 20, have been charged with capital murder and a number of other crimes.

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