Gov. Bill Lee recently appointed Wilson County Republican Party leader and former state Sen. Mae Beavers to the Tennessee Board of Parole.
Lee appointed Beavers and Barrett Rich, of Decatur County, to the board, which has six-year terms for members. The board has the responsibility of deciding whether eligible felony offenders will be granted parole as well as reviewing executive clemency requests.
The annual salary for each member of the board is about $102,000.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington released a statement following the appointment, noting the group would closely monitor Beavers’ actions while on the board to find any “anti-Muslim bias” because of her “history of Islamophobic statements.”
CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert McCaw said the group plans to make open records requests to monitor Beavers’ decisions to “ensure her Islamophobic bias does not in any way impact the impartiality of the Board of Parole.”
Beavers did not respond to two emails from the Wilson Post requesting a comment about the group’s decision.
Beavers’ political career began in 1990 when she was elected to the Wilson County Commission. She was elected to the state House in 1994 and was elected to the state Senate in 2003 where she served until 2017. She left that year to focus on a gubernatorial race against Lee.
She withdrew from that race to run for the Wilson County mayoral seat, which she lost to incumbent Randall Hutto.