Former Kentucky Department of Corrections Commissioner James Erwin | Photo via KDOC

A spokesman for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet confirmed to Insider Louisville on Friday that the commissioner and the operations director of the Kentucky Department of Corrections have been terminated.

“Effective immediately, the Kentucky Justice Cabinet is implementing leadership changes at the Department of Corrections, including the dismissal of Commissioner Jim Erwin and Operations Director Chris Kleymeyer,” stated a cabinet spokesman, Mike Wynn.

Deputy Justice Secretary Jon Grate has been named as acting commissioner and “is working with department employees to ensure a successful transition.”

Wynn said the cabinet would have no further statements on the firings on Friday.

Erwin was appointed as commissioner in May 2018, after serving as the interim head of Department of Corrections for a year. According to a news release at the time, he previously served seven years as deputy commissioner of the Office of Adult Institutions, with a career that spanned three decades of work in 10 institutions and two state correctional departments, where he held leadership positions.

This story may be updated.

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Joe Sonka
Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]