(AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has appointed Rodney Ballard as the new commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
Ballard takes over for LaDonna Thompson, the current commissioner who will retire March 1. His first day will be March 14.
Since 2012, Ballard has been in charge of the Fayette County Detention Center, which has 1,300 beds and an annual budget of $33.5 million. Before that, he spent four years overseeing the Division of Probation and Parole and the Division of Local Facilities, which includes jail inspectors. He will take over a department that houses nearly 23,000 inmates across 13 facilities.
Thompson has been with the department since 1989. She made history in 2008 when former Gov. Steve Beshear appointed her as the first female corrections commissioner in state history.