Brent Reinke, director of the Idaho Department of Correction, was granted two weeks of personal leave to deal with the prosecution of his grandson on a murder charge.
Bradley Frank James, 23, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Dec. 12 slaying of Larry R. Miller of Filer.
Miller was shot in the face and stabbed 25 times at his home, the Twin Falls Times-News reported at the time.
James confronted Miller for reportedly molesting a "friend of a friend," the newspaper reported. James went to the man's house to scare him into leaving the victim alone, police said.
James told police he pulled out a rifle and held it to Miller's face to make him back off after Miller became violent during the confrontation. James said he "lost it" when Miller tried to grab the gun and James pulled the trigger.
Miller was then stabbed 25 times in the upper chest, back and left arm.
James has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. He is scheduled to appear at a status hearing March 18 in Twin Falls, according to online court records. A trial date had not been set as of Tuesday.
In a press release, Board of Correction chairwoman Robin Sandy said she recognizes the difficult position Reinke faces managing the day-to-day operations of a major state agency while also supporting a family member who is charged with a serious crime.
This is a tragic, personal matter and we respect Brents wish to support his family during this difficult time, Sandy said in a written release.
Reinke has been IDOC director since January 1, 2007. The departments deputy director, Kevin Kempf, will serve as acting director while Reinke is away.
Department spokesman Jeff Ray declined to say what measures would be taken if James is convicted and sent to a prison under Reinke's oversight.