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Wetzel leaving as prisons chief, Wolf names acting successor

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Corrections Secretary John Wetzel will soon leave the job he’s held for more than a decade and be replaced by a top administrator at the agency, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday.

Wolf plans to name as acting secretary George Little, who has overseen community corrections, parole and probation field supervision services, and parole re-entry operations.

Wetzel was first named to the job in 2011 by then-Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican. Wetzel was warden of the Franklin County Jail before leading the state Corrections Department. His last day is Oct. 1 and he plans to work in the private sector.

Little is a Pennsylvania native who joined Corrections as director of community corrections in 2016 before becoming executive deputy secretary. He also spent many years in government in Tennessee, including as a warden and a Memphis city government administrator.

Little has a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and completed graduate work at the University of Texas.

Wetzel’s tenure included the first drop in state prison inmate numbers in four decades, a population reduction of some 4,200.

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