DOWNTOWN — David Thomas, executive director of the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, submitted his resignation Wednesday after being caught in the middle of a police-torture scandal.
Thomas failed to notify families of victims when convicted killers came before the commission claiming police torture. His resignation is effective Sept. 30.
The nine-member commission accepted it unanimously.
"It was inadvertent, and we are very sorry," said Commissioner Rob Warden in accepting Thomas' resignation.
In considering the torture claims of Jerry Mahaffey, the commission came under harsh criticism from Joe Heinrich, brother of JoEllen Pueschel, murdered 30 years ago along with her husband, Dean Pueschel.
Heinrich said victims in nine of 17 cases the commission referred to court had not been notified of proceedings. He called it a "mismanaged, bush-league operation," saying, "I don't think there is another public body in this state more in need of reform and a total overhaul than this one."
The commission hearing was held in the Thompson Center Downtown.