Chief of embattled parole agency retiring

CARSON CITY - Carlos Concha, chief of the state Division of Parole and Probation which has been criticized for a lack of supervision of convicted felons, retires at the end of this month.

Concha, who has 25 years with the agency, says he wants to take advantage of an offer in the golfing business. He started with the division in 1974 and was named its chief in 1998.

He said his decision to leave the $80,000-a-year job has nothing to do with recent criticism of his agency for lax oversight.

A legislative audit released in October said former inmates, some of them violent or sex offenders who were paroled from state prison, were able to roam the streets with only moderate or no supervision.

While the agency had a poor record, the audit said its costs were among the highest in the West. The audit was for 1998.

Concha said part of the problem stemmed from a turnover in management. Since 1993, there were three division chiefs and a high turnover of district administrators in the agency.

In July, Concha said, he began a new auditing program to ensure offenders are properly supervised.

The criticism intensified in the last month when it was revealed that two men on parole in Reno were arrested for separate murders.

Records showed the probation officer for John Stinchfield Jr., visited him at home only once in 11 months. Stinchfield, who had been convicted of fraud, was supposed to be visited at home at least every 90 days.

Stinchfield is charged with two counts of murder in the shooting of two friends during a drunken argument at Lahontan Reservoir in August.

Michael McNeil was paroled from the state prison in June 1998 after serving two years for armed robbery. He is charged with killing a man who was a friend of his ex-girlfriend and then shooting her last January.

He was classified as a maximum risk on parole. Rules required an officer to visit his home monthly. But McNeil was seen in the home only once during the seven months.


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