Alaska’s former corrections commissioner now holds the corresponding position in Colorado, after new governors have taken office in both states.

Dean Williams was among the incoming commissioners named Dec. 21 by Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis, a congressman from the state.

The Denver Post reported that Polis, who defeated Republican Walter Stapleton in November to become the nation’s first openly gay man elected governor, named Williams as part of a cabinet he said would emphasize diversity.

Williams, who was named to his Alaska post in 2016 by then-Gov. Bill Walker, presided over an eventful period for the Department of Corrections. He was called upon to defend the state’s Pretrial Enforcement Division after concerns emerged over repeat offenders being released under new state rules.

In late 2017, Williams said on KTVA’s “Frontiers with Rhonda McBride” that he didn’t think changes to criminal justice reform measure Senate Bill 91 would imperil efforts to improve rehabilitation at Alaska’s correctional institutions.

“There are most of the reforms that are still in place in terms of what we’re trying to do behind the wall and those things are the most important to me, so those things haven’t changed,” Williams said.

Williams was succeeded in Alaska by Eagle River state Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom. She was named corrections commissioner last month by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, following his defeat of Democratic opponent Mark Begich.

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