After Chowchilla kidnapper’s parole, Fresno woman reappointed to post – Reuters

Gov. Gavin Newsom reappointed a Fresno woman last Friday to the state parole board, days after the board voted to free a Chowchilla kidnapper.

David Taub

Policy 101

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would not say how Mary Thornton voted on August 16 to confirm the parole of Chowchilla kidnapper Frederick Woods, 70. He was granted provisional release at a hearing last March.

She was one of seven people named (or reappointed) by Newsom to the Board of Parole Hearings last Friday. First drafted in 2019, Thornton previously worked as a prosecutor in Kings and Madera counties.

Thornton is the only commissioner on the 21-member council to represent the Central San Joaquin Valley. A term on the board is three years, with a salary of $192,407.

It was the 18th time a parole board had considered Woods’ release. He is currently incarcerated at California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo County. A release date has not been announced for security reasons, a CDCR spokesperson said.

Two other people convicted of the notorious 1976 crime, brothers Richard Schoenfeld and James Schoenfeld, were released in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

A message left for Thornton was not returned.


Also in Politics 101…

  • A member of the Fresno school board sets the date for the DUI trial.
  • A rare political apology.
  • KMPH reporter leaving for Florida.

School board member faces November trial date

James Martinez

A Fresno school counselor will put his criminal fate in the hands of his peers.

During a hearing for an impaired driving charge Monday, an attorney for Fresno School Board Administrator James Martinez requested a date for a jury trial, according to the court filing. Commissioner Noelle Pebet granted the request.

Martinez will face a jury trial starting Nov. 3, with Pebet presiding. He was not present on Monday.

Court records show that Fresno Police arrested Martinez on November 8, 2020 at 12:29 a.m. on Van Ness and Olive Avenues in the Tower District for failing to properly stop at a red light or stop sign . Martinez is accused of having a blood alcohol level of 0.15% or higher, nearly double the legal driving limit of 0.08%.

This is the second time in the history of the case that a jury trial has been held. A start date in June was pushed back at the request of the defense.

Neither Martinez nor his attorney responded to a request for comment.

A rare political apology

It is rare for a political campaign to retract a claim made against an opponent. When former Congressman TJ Cox was arrested last week, Assembly candidate Mark Pazin was more than happy to hook up his opponent for the 27th District seat, Fresno Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, to Cox .

Pazin claimed that Cox contributed to Soria’s campaign. The reality is that former Soria chief of staff Terry Cox wrote a check for $500 on May 20, 2022 – not TJ Cox.

“I apologize for the mistake that was unfortunately made in haste,” said Jordan Dennison, Pazinthe campaign manager said in an updated email to the media. “Nevertheless, it speaks volumes about how close former Congressman Cox is to Soria and we are watching how it all plays out.”

Edinger leaves for the Sunshine State

After four years of reporting in Fresno, KMPH Fox 26 reporter/anchor Marie Edinger is leaving town. She announced on Sunday’s show that she was returning home to Florida to work at the Fox-owned station in Orlando.

His last day on the air in Fresno is Thursday.

I met Edinger several times to cover stories around town. She’s one of my favorite reporters and one of the best in town. Fresno’s loss is Orlando’s gain.

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