Gov. Spencer J. Cox names nominees to Utah Board of Pardons and Parole

Gov. Spencer J. Cox has nominated Blake Hills and Melissa Stirba to the Board of Pardons and Parole. 

“I’m so pleased to recommend Blake Hills and Melissa Stirba as new members of the Board of Pardons and Parole,” Gov. Cox said. “These positions require the utmost commitment to justice and I’m confident Blake and Melissa will serve with honor and distinction.”

Blake Hills currently serves as a prosecuting attorney at Summit County Attorney’s Office, a position he’s held since 2017. In addition to his role as a prosecutor, he also serves as an instructor at Salt Lake Community College Law Enforcement Academy. Prior to his current position, Hills served as the unit chief at the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office. Hills received his J.D. from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in geography/planning and economics from Weber State University.

“I am humbled and honored that Gov. Cox has selected me to be a member of the Board of Pardons and Parole,” Hills said. “I look forward to serving the community with integrity and professionalism.” 

Melissa Stirba currently serves as a trial attorney at the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association.  Previously she served as a pro bono case investigator for the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, a board member of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a defense attorney for the Operation Rio Grande Drug Court. She received her J.D. with honors from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Bates College.

“I am truly grateful for and humbled by Gov. Cox’s appointment to the Board of Pardons and Parole,” Stirba said. “It is an honor to serve the people of Utah in this capacity. If confirmed, I will carry out my duties with integrity, respect and fairness.” 

The governor’s nominations are subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate.