Official Who Toyed With Inmates During Parole Hearings Quits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Corrections says a Missouri parole board member who reportedly admits concocting a word game played during questioning in parole hearings has resigned.

Donald Ruzicka’s resignation Monday from the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole was accepted by the panel’s chairman, Kenny Jones.

A Department of Corrections inspector general’s report last week said that Ruzicka and an employee played a game during parole hearings in which they earned points for incorporating song titles and unusual words such as “manatee” and “hootenanny” into their questioning.

The report says the officials, who occasionally dressed alike, awarded themselves an extra point if they could get the inmates to also say the words.

Jones said in a statement Monday that “members of the board must be held to a higher standard.”

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