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Cynthia Wolken

Cynthia Wolken

State Sen. Cynthia Wolken, D-Missoula, is the new deputy director of the state Department of Corrections.

Director Reginald D. Michael made the announcement Tuesday. Wolken will start Wednesday.

She told the Missoulian she will resign from the Senate in February.

The Missoula County Board of Commissioners will appoint someone to Wolken's seat to serve until the November 2018 election. State Rep. Nate McConnell, D-Missoula, announced on Twitter Tuesday that he would be running for Wolken's seat.

As a state senator, Wolken chaired the Commission on Sentencing that was created in 2015 to examine Montana’s criminal justice system and recommend changes that would safely reduce incarceration statewide. In the 2017 legislative session, she carried many of the major pieces of justice reform legislation developed by the Commission.

Wolken represents Senate District 48, which covers parts of Missoula’s Westside neighborhood, Reserve Street corridor and area south of Mullan Road.

She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a bachelor of arts in geography and international relations. She earned her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Wolken's salary will be $117,790.

Former Corrections Deputy Director Loraine Wodnik retired on Dec. 15.

Missoulian reporter Peter Friesen contributed information for this story.

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State Bureau reporter for The Independent Record.

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