DENVER - The Colorado parolee accused of killing corrections chief Tom Clements was working from a hit list that also named ex-Parole Director Tim Hand and two other corrections employees, The Denver Post reported Thursday night.
7NEWS broke the story earlier Thursday that Hand had been fired.
Hand talked to The Post by telephone as he was returning from a national conference in Indiana.
"Evan Ebel killed Clements and (Denver tech professional Nate Leon), but there were a lot of other people who had their fingerprints all over this," said Hand, DOC’s former division director over parole, community corrections and the Youthful Offender System. "This is big time. This is a bunch of 211 Crew members who were doing this. It wasn’t Ebel working alone."
The hit list that Hand referred to on Thursday included the names of Clements, Hand and two others and was discovered in Ebel’s car after North Texas law officers killed him down after a chase and shootout on March 21, Hand told The Post.
Letters from other 211 Crew members included additional names of potential targets, Hand said.
Investigators believe Ebel, a member of the white supremacist prison gang 211 Crew, fatally shot Clements at his Monument home on March 19, five days after Ebel cut his ankle bracelet. Investigators also believe Ebel killed Nathan Leon on March 17 while Leon was working as a part-time pizza delivery driver. Ebel is believed to have used Leon's delivery uniform to approach Clements at his home without arousing suspicion.
CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta confirmed with multiple sources that Hand's last day will be June 30.
Marchetta also obtained photographs of internal memorandum signed by the Department's Interim Executive Director announcing that Steve Hager will continue in the capacity of the interim director of the Parole Division.
Sources say Interim DOC Executive Director Roger Werholtz made the decision to fire Hand. The decision, sources say, was not mutual.
Hand told The Post a certified letter notifying him that his contract would not be renewed was delivered to his home last Friday.
Hand had been placed on paid leave by the DOC after the CALL7 Investigators found gaps in the parole division's response when Ebel cut his ankle bracelet and went on a multi-state rampage.
According to DOC documents, Ebel cut off his ankle monitor and his parole officer didn’t check in on him for six days. By then, Leon and Clements were dead.
The CALL7 Investigators found a lack of accountability and an absence of policies requiring parole officers to respond to tamper alerts from ankle bracelets. Then, a parole officer blew the whistle on the department issuing expired ballistic vests and other mismanagement during an interview with Marchetta.
"There's a lot of internal review that's ongoing, but we've also brought in an external review with the National Institute of Corrections," Hand told Marchetta in an interview before he was placed on leave. "And it's our belief with this technical assistance, they come in and we really start to drill down on some of the questions you're raising right now."
“I have no regrets for standing in front of a camera and supporting these officers,” Hand told Denver Post reporter Kirk Mitchell on Thursday. Read more about the Crew 211 connection on DenverPost.com.
Hand worked for DOC for more than 23 years. Clements appointed Hand as the parole director two years ago. Hand was placed on paid administrative leave last month.