TO AREA MINISTERS and LOCAL LEADERS
By Region 1 Employees of the Florida Department of 'Corrections'
I represent a group of local citizens who are outraged by some of the recent goings on within the Florida Department of Corrections, one of this area's largest employers, upon which many in your congregations and communities depend to feed their families.
A local newspaper recently gave front page coverage to a Halloween party held on State (taxpayer) property. The "host" of this event, DOC Region 1 Director Allen Clark, was quoted as saying: "It was great. It is what we're all about."
I find that interesting. I thought DOC was all about "protecting the public by operating a safe, secure, humane and efficient corrections system; protecting the public, staff, and inmates; developing staff committed to professionalism and fiscal responsibility..."
I am completely stumped trying to figure out how the aforementioned party accomplished any of these goals. Until Mr. Clark arrived in our midst, a party such as was held at his residence on the grounds of Apalachee Correctional Institution on Friday, October 29, 2004, was not needed to accomplish any of DOC's [stated] goals.
How can an estimated 2500 people under the influence of alcohol, congregated on our local highways during the same general time frame, possibly be safe for anyone, much less present the party goers (DOC employees) in a professional light?
It is evident in the enclosed picture published in the newspaper that quite a bit of alcohol was being consumed.
Speaking of driving under the influence, it has been widely rumored that one party going employee spent a night in the Jackson County Jail on a DUI charge following his involvement in a crash as he was leaving the party (on US 90, directly in front of ACI), which was investigated by FHP [Florida Highway Patrol].
By the way, where was local law enforcement that night, or had they been instructed to turn a blind eye to all the intoxicated drivers leaving the party? Thankfully, to my knowledge, no one was injured and no innocent citizens were involved, but this incident could have had tragic results.
Speaking of professionalism, though not related to correctional professionals, our local high school principal looks REAL professional, pictured in the newspaper scantily clad, overly made up, and all armed up with the "host". Why was she even present??? Did she need a "stress buster", too?
Regarding the alcohol at the party, there was a cash bar, which originally was to have been a full bar, offering all types of mixed drinks. Somehow, a fly got into the ointment (supposedly last minute pressure from Tallahassee) and the hard liquor had to "disappear". However, beer was still available for purchase. Does ACI have a license to dispense beer for a cost? Some of you who are involved in fighting Jackson County's upcoming referendum to allow liquor by the drink might want to investigate this. Had the "fly" not gotten involved, rumor has it that over $2000 worth of hard liquor would have been available for sale by the drink at this party.
And what about fiscal responsibility??? Since when are the taxpayers responsible for providing such an elaborate party setting -- a live band, a D.J., complete with his own air conditioned booth (pictured), stages for the band and the "elaborate" and "lively" skits, restroom facilities, parking staff, etc, etc.
One such lively skit involved horses and gun play. Who owns the horses used in the skit? Were they the same ones we see correctional officers astride as they guard inmates working beside the highway; i.e. property of the State of Florida? Who provided the saddles (to say nothing of the guns and ammunition) used in the skit? It is rumored that four brand new saddles were purchased for the skit. Do you suppose Mr. Clark or DOC Secretary James Crosby footed that bill, or was it you and me as taxpayers? It is also rumored that an employee participating in the lively skit lost two toes to an accidental self-inflicted shotgun blast (blanks, but nevertheless obviously dangerous). Is the State liable for his accident?
Did the State purchase and install the air conditioned restroom facilities, erected specifically for this party, as they and all the other party "props" have now disappeared from Mr. Clark's lawn, along with any sign of their ever having existed? I wonder why? Another "fly"?
What about the uniformed officers who were parking cars (one ranking as high as Major)? Were they on duty, being paid by the taxpayers to perform their jobs as correctional officers, or maybe their uniforms were their Halloween costumes? One of them who reportedly appeared to be intoxicated must have been into the spirit of things.
Where does parking cars for Mr. Clark's party fit into their job description? What about the uniformed officer shown in the picture holding a camera? Was he on duty -- on the taxpayer's payroll?
Some of you pastors may or may not know that members of your own congregations attended this event under duress. This is not the form of entertainment they normally would have sought on a Friday night.
Since Mr. Clark came to Region 1, many are attending such functions not by choice. They are attending to keep their job assignments and specific days off, and in some cases, to keep their jobs! Many who attended under duress were there in support of their spouses who HAD to attend due to pressure from above.
Our recent election proved that a majority of our nation's citizens are conservative minded. This general area of the country has always been pretty conservative. It is a shame that the likes of Allen Clark can swoop in and infiltrate our small communities and impose HIS values upon a segment of our population. Do you care? If you do, please act, and help find some way to send him packing.
Very sincerely yours,
A group of concerned citizens with children, neighbors, friends, relatives, and fellow church members working in Region 1 of DOC.
Extortion In It's Many Forms
To Area Ministers and Local Leaders
To The Florida Democratic Party
To Bill Warner, FSECC Fiscal Agent
Opening page of Packet