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Corrections shake-up: Scott prisons chief quits after six months on the job

by Dara Kam | August 24th, 2011

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Buss has resigned six months after going to work for Gov. Rick Scott.

Buss will be replaced by Ken Tucker, currently assistant director of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Tucker will not be named as an interim secretary but will take on full leadership of the department, sources in Scott’s office said.

In a statement, Scott said “differences in philosophy and management styles arose which made the separation in the best interests of the state.”

Buss leaves as his agency undertakes the privatization of more than one-third of the state’s prisons in the region south of Ocala.

And his abrupt resignation comes after Scott’s office twice rebuked the former Indiana prisons chief over state contracts. Scott’s office this week forced out one of Buss’s hand-picked aides – Elizabeth “Betty” Gondles” after citing concerns about a possible conflict of interest with the privatization of the department’s health care services. Gondles’ $180,000, 10-month contract was terminated two months before it was scheduled to run out in October.

Last week, Scott’s office pulled requests for proposals from vendors bidding on health services for the state’s 100,000 inmates. Gondles, who oversaw the RFPs, is married to Jim Gondles, head of the American Correctional Association that accredits the facilities. The RFPs required that vendors pay for ACA membership and pay the organization to perform audits.

Also last week, Scott’s office canceled a contract Buss signed with MSNBC’s “Lockup” allowing a crew to film the reality show at a Panhandle prison. Scott’s aides said Buss hadn’t vetted the contract with them before signing it.

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8 Responses to “Corrections shake-up: Scott prisons chief quits after six months on the job”

  1. Fed Up Says:

    Was there not a Florida resident qualified for this job? How much is this going to cost Florida? Privatization means less jobs at less pay and someone at the top gets rich; usually costs taxpayers more.

  2. fret Says:

    I hate rick scott, but unfortunately I cannot believe anything the Palm Beach Post reports. What a dilema

  3. SheliaJoy Says:

    Re: Gondles $18K per month contract-exactly what did she do for that much money?

  4. The Real Perspective Says:

    Scott is a no good Fascist who belongs in jail.

  5. Searcher Says:

    So our Carpet-Bagger Prison Supervisor, hired by our Carpet-Bagger Governor has QUIT. Can’t we make hm take Gov. Snott with him? PLEASE!

    And you didn’t expect Gov. Snott’s hand picked Prison Supervisors ASSISTANT actually passed a Request for Proposals that required a “payoff” to her husbands organization. RepubliCON ethics at its finest!

  6. Dee Says:

    Guess RIch Scott wasn’t getting his fair share!

  7. Himey Goldberg Says:

    Why don’t Rick Scott let the Bridges of American crooks take over the state prison system. We have paid them over $10 million in the last six months to run their juvenile sex abuse facilities recruiting young males into homosexuality. Millions for sex. Check it out. Sick people recruiting our children into their sick lifestyles!

  8. Confused Says:

    I would really like to believe that Governor Dick Scott did something right… But this being reported in the Palm Beach Post means I cannot believe it as we all know that there has been no fact checking, no cross-reference and I’m surprised that Comments are even allowed !!!!

    Real Live Local News that the good people of PB County would like to comment on ISN’T ALLOWED!!!

    Just what does it take to allow commenting on news items that should have it?

    This isn’t yellow journalism, it is black journalism, the kind you find in a fascist regime!!!

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