Is Florida Governor Rick Scott Plotting To Get Rid Of The Department of Corrections?

Posted: January 2, 2012 in News and politics

Posted on December 1, 2011 by Ben From
After the swift and effective removal of the Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Buss, Governor Scott made a rather strange appointment to fill the position. Ken Tucker, a commissioner with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was given the post. However, Mr. Tucker has little or no correctional experience. Mr. Tucker then appointed Michael Crews, another FDLE veteran. Mr. Crews comes to the job with some correctional experience, he was a Correctional Officer 24 years ago.

The official story of Secretary Buss’ departure is that he resigned. However it appeared that his resignation was a planned event. After his resignation was accepted on August 24, 2011, Mr. Tucker was immediately appointed to the position. It was reported that then Secretary Buss was not fully on board with the Governor’s scheme to privatize all prisons in the southern half of the state. Later, during a deposition, it was discovered that Secretary Buss was not even informed of the plan to privatize prisons. This deposition was an important part of the Correctional Officer Union’s case against the State. A judge ruled against the State and the prison privatization scheme was halted. The case is currently under appeal.

Now the question is, “Why would Governor Scott appoint an FDLE commissioner with no correctional experience?” To me the answer is simple. The merging of the Florida Department of Corrections (FL DOC) into the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

This move fits into Governor Scott’s prior actions of merging departments (if not just cutting them all together) in his effort to cut state spending and fire state employees. If this merger did happen it would eliminate the entire upper echelon of FL DOC and remove the FL DOC budget. FDLE would now control the prisons, their personnel, and their funding. Governor Scott could then claim that he has fired more state employees and saved the tax payers again.

The Legislators will be gathering in the State Capital of Tallahassee soon. My money says that this proposal or merging the two departments will be introduced. Correctional Officers should be prepared for lay offs and pay cuts.

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