Skip to:

Governor Dayton Selects Experienced Professionals to Lead Corrections Department, Commission on Judicial Selection

January 20, 2011

Arrowhead Regional Corrections Director Thomas Roy to head Corrections Department; Attorney Lee Sheehy to Chair the Commission on Judicial Selection

St. Paul, MN -- Governor Mark Dayton today named two experienced professionals to important posts in his Administration, choosing Thomas Roy to lead the Department of Corrections and Lee Sheehy to Chair the Commission on Judicial Selection. 
Roy has spent his career in corrections, working with offenders, victims and communities.  He currently serves as Director of Arrowhead Regional Corrections, serving five Northern Minnesota counties.  Sheehy is an attorney, whose career has spanned the public, private and non-profit sectors, including as an attorney in private practice and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and in leadership roles at the City of Minneapolis, the office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and, most recently, the McKnight Foundation. 
Tom Roy 
“Tom Roy brings extensive experience in corrections and a proven commitment to protecting citizens and communities from offenders to this critically important responsibility,” said Governor Dayton. “My new Commissioners of Corrections, Mr. Roy, and of Public Safety, Chief Dohman, and I will work closely together with law enforcement officers, prison personnel, and local public safety officials to do everything possible to assure the safety of the people of Minnesota.”
“I am honored to be selected by Governor Dayton to lead this important agency,” said Roy.  “I take nothing more seriously than the charge of keeping the public, our staff in our communities and facilities, and our offenders safe and secure. Many believe justice is completed after there is a finding of guilt.  However, the real task begins in the effort to make offenders more productive citizens and successfully return them to the community.”
Minnesota’s Department of Corrections is responsible for thousands of inmates at ten adult and juvenile corrections facilities statewide.  The Department is also responsible for core corrections functions, including probation, supervised release and parole. Roy will replace Acting Commissioner Christine Bray.
Roy is a native of Northern Minnesota and a 1974 graduate of the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis where he received a B.A. in Political Science.   Upon graduation he returned to the Arrowhead Region and began a career in probation and parole in Duluth as a pre-trial officer and in Carlton County, as an adult and juvenile officer and supervisor.   In 1994 he was promoted to Chief Probation Officer for the five Arrowhead counties and in 2002 he took over as Executive Director for Arrowhead Regional Corrections. In addition to his work as a corrections administrator he has had involvement in numerous state and national initiatives and work groups, including: the American Probation and Parole Association as a Regional Representative and where he served on the Executive Board from 2007-2009. He currently is the chair of the Minnesota Interstate Compact Advisory Council which oversees the movement of convicted offenders to and from Minnesota. 
Lee Sheehy 
“I have known Lee Sheehy personally and professionally for over thirty years,” said Governor Dayton. “I know him to be a man of the highest integrity, with an outstanding record of excellent public service, who shares my view that Minnesota needs to recruit and select the very best among our citizens to assume the enormous responsibilities of serving in the judiciary. My charge to Mr. Sheehy and his Commission is to find and recommend the very best qualified women and men throughout Minnesota to serve in those critically important positions.”
“Minnesota’s excellent judiciary is the cornerstone of our state’s just civic society,” said Sheehy.  “Our process will seek candidates of integrity, maturity, judicial temperament, diligence, legal knowledge, ability and experience, and community service. It is an honor to lead this commission which will make recommendations to Governor Dayton for this critical branch of state government.”
The Commission is charged with soliciting judicial candidates, evaluating candidates, and providing recommendations to the Governor for appointment.
Sheehy practiced law for almost 25 years, beginning with the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General in 1977.  He spent fifteen years at the law firm Popham, Haik, Schnobrich, Kaufman, and Doty before becoming Chief Deputy to Minnesota Attorney General Humphrey in 1995. He has served as General Counsel to Public Radio International, Regional Administrator of the Metropolitan Council, Director of the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development, and Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.  Sheehy is currently the Director of Region and Communities Program at the McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation.  Sheehy served as the Co-Chair of Governor Dayton’s Transition Team.