Governor looks for new prison chief

Governor looks for new prison chief


The leader of Oregon's prison system is stepping down at the end of the year to become president of the nonprofit Oregon Community Foundation, prompting Gov. John Kitzhaber to conduct a fast-track search for a new corrections chief.

"We are evaluating our options in terms of a national search," Kitzhaber spokesman Tim Raphael said Tuesday about finding a replacement for Max Williams, the outgoing director of the state Corrections Department.

The governor also will consider candidates from within the ranks of Oregon's 4,300-employee corrections agency, he said.

The post could be filled on a temporary basis with an interim director, or by a permanent appointment, Raphael said.

Either way, "We will definitely have somebody in place" by the time Williams departs, he said.

Williams, 48, a former three-term Republican legislator, has led the Corrections Department for almost eight years. Then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski named him to the post in 2004.

Read more in today's Statesman Journal.