Harrisburg, PA -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2019
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman Announces New Secretary of Pardons, Major Advancement in Pardons Process Reform
Harrisburg, PA – Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced today the appointment of Brandon J. Flood as the new Secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, taking another major step toward commonsense reforms to streamline the pardons process and improve accessibility.
Lt. Gov. Fetterman said Flood, who took the helm last week, is an outstanding example of how Pennsylvanians can prosper when given a chance and when possessing an earnest desire to move past their mistakes. The move to hire Flood signals the increased stakeholder investment the Lieutenant Governor is bringing to the pardons system.
“Brandon brings a fresh and valuable perspective to this position, particularly given the changes afoot,” said Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. “His personal insight gained after being the deserving recipient of pardons can inform the direct and poignant changes we intend to make. This is exactly who we need to step into this role, and I’m proud to be working with him to improve our whole system.”
Flood, whose pardon application was filed before the new Lieutenant Governor was elected, was granted pardons of three old, nonviolent convictions that were signed by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year.
Flood, 36, was pardoned for the convictions of possession with intent to deliver cocaine when he was 17 and an unlicensed firearm violation when he was 22.
“Like many young men in our nation’s inner cities, I foolishly viewed the selling of illegal narcotics as a quick and easy way out of poverty,” he said.
Flood illegally purchased a firearm to protect himself after being shot three times by an unknown assailant in Harrisburg, and police later seized gun during a routine traffic stop.
He spent a total of nine years in prison over two sentences, and he started rehabilitating his life while serving time at SCI-Chester. He was editor of the facility’s newsletter, “The Lowdown,” and participated in programming by Temple University, including public speaking courses and debate.
Following release, he started an internship with the state House of Representatives Health & Human Services Committee and advanced his career as opportunities arose.
Working on pardons in various capacities over his tenure with the state, Flood was inspired to seek his own pardons at the encouragement of a former pardons secretary, a predecessor in the position he now holds.
His personal pardons process took about three years, and the setbacks he encountered can be used as learning tools for how to streamline the process, he said.
Flood, of Steelton, is a former Policy and Reporting Specialist in the state’s Department of General Services and has served as Legislative Director for the Service Employees International Union – Pennsylvania State Council (SEIU-PSC) and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
As Secretary of the Board of Pardons, he’ll oversee the pardons office and meetings of the Board four times per year. A non-voting position, the Secretary processes all clemency applications, secures background checks for the applications, and presents information to the Lieutenant Governor and the four other voting members of the board.
Flood is a member of the Steelton Borough Zoning Hearing Board, a member of the Steelton Police Department’s Citizen Advisory Committee, and chairman of Greater Harrisburg NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee.
He replaces Steven R. Burk, who was appointed May 30, 2017 by Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack.
Last month, Lt. Gov. Fetterman announced that the Board of Pardons unanimously approved the reduction of fees to $0 for new applicants, a move expected to increase access to economically disadvantaged applicants.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Kauffman, Lt. Governor’s Office - 717-712-3316
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