The two people heading up the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry were unexpectedly dismissed from their positions Wednesday, though no reason has been given as to why they were let go.
Former public prosecutor Saundra Edwards was relieved of duty after seven years as board chair, and executive director Jeanne Holmes has been placed on administrative leave.
"The SORB decision is considered a personnel matter and we’ll have no further comment," saidExecutive Office of Public Safety and Security Spokesman Terrel Harris why the pair was ousted.
Public Safety and Security Secretary Andrea Cabral said in a press release Wednesday that Anne Conners, an investigator for the Department of Early Education and Care, will replace Edwards. Kevin Hayden, the board’s general counsel, will serve as its interim executive director.
The Governor's Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment as to why Edwards and Holmes were dismissed, though Cabral touted the achievements of both replacements.
“[Conners] knows and understands the complexities of the criminal justice system as well as the policies and regulations related to SORI,” said Cabral. “In the course of investigating a number of high-profile cases, [Conners] has worked closely with the SORB, local law enforcements agencies, DCF and the District Attorneys’ Offices for many years. She will hit the ground running.”
Conners will hire a permanent replacement for Holmes.
The Sex Offender Registry Board is the state agency responsible for keeping a database of convicted sex offenders and classifying each offender so that the public may receive information about dangerous sex offenders who live or work in each community.
The goal of the Sex Offender Registry is to educate the public and to prevent further victimization.