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Former Buffalo police Detective Raul Russi has been nominated chairman of the state Parole Board, Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday.

The appointment, which must be confirmed by the State Senate, comes a year after Cuomo named Russi to the 17-member panel. Sources said Russi took the job last year with assurances that he would become the board's next chairman.

Raul Rodriguez, the present chairman, has been seeking a new position for more than a year. In a letter to Cuomo, Rodriguez said he will become president of Columbia-Greene Medical Center July 31.

Russi, 44, was superintendent of the Erie County Holding Center before his appointment to the Parole Board. A graduate of D'Youville and Hilbert colleges, Russi was with the Buffalo Police Department from 1971 to 1986.

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