FDOC DAMAGE CONTROL
The Good Ole Boy
Deny Deny Deny
This is exactly what is meant by the "good ole boy system": Everybody covers and sticks up for each other . No matter what they say about these men, no matter what they find, they will all deny it. If we had honest people in our Florida government they would want to distance themselves from these wrongdoers. Is Crosby et all saying the FBI, FDLE, and The US DOJ are all liars?
Crosby allowed my husband to be brutally murdered, and he does not care. Someone can be your friend, but if you are an honest person you let them know you are sad that they chose to do what they did. You do not get up and make a fool of yourself trying to cover up the wrongs just because they are your friend.
It is time to clean up our system in Florida and demand accountability for the wrongs. Crosby needs to go. Next they will say the female officer who was rapped lied. These men should be ashamed. What type of leadership is this???????????
Copies sent To The US Dept. Of Justice
Civil Rights Division Criminal
To Mr Moskowitz Director
To Jacquline Spratt Attorney
Florida State Prison Warden Jim Crosby, left, and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris greet Bill McCollum ,center, and US Senator Connie Mack at Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia
ZOOM Dede Smith / NYTRENG
Article published Oct 13, 2005
Department of Corrections Secretary James V. Crosby Jr. referred to Allen Clark as a friend on Wednesday and defended the former regional prison director who is at the center of federal and state investigations.
Meanwhile Gov. Jeb Bush was defending Crosby.
In a telephone interview with The Sun Wednesday afternoon, Crosby talked about Clark's decision to resign as Region 1 director, a resignation that takes effect on Friday.
"I knew when I accepted his resignation that there was an investigation ongoing," Crosby said. "We don't generally talk about investigations. Allen is my friend and I hope that everything works out OK. The process will have to determine that. I hate that this is the situation right now."
Crosby said he had been under what some may have considered a self-imposed gag order for the past month or so, issuing only a brief written statement on Clark's resignation and another short statement following the death of a widely known officer, Keith Davison.
"I was being advised not to be talking, but I need to go ahead and start answering questions now," Crosby said.
He offered explanations for several of the alleged actions and decisions of Clark, a close friend and the man he mentored for 15 years.
Clark turned in his resignation as a regional prison director in August, stepping down from the $94,000-a-year job amid federal and state investigations into allegations of drug use, violence, embezzlement, improper use of inmates and other issues involving correctional officers.
Clark left behind several people he had promoted, including some he had moved through the ranks as quickly as he had been moved upward. What rankled many prison employees who talked to The Sun was what appeared to be p attern of promoting those who played on softball teams that Clark coached, with some rising in three years or so from positions as a sergeant in a North Florida prisons to the rank of captain, major, colonel or assistant warden at prisons around the state.
Crosby said there is a reason some promotions appeared rapid and they are primarily due to the relatively new DROP program, which allows state employees to retire with both a pension and an often sizeable cash payment following their final five years of work.
"There are dozens of examples," Crosby said. "When the DROP kicked in, it created a lot of openings - a huge number of openings - that have pushed younger officers to the top. I can show you a list of others that made it to the top just as quick (as the softball players)."
Clark also left behind dozens of people who called The Sun to complain that he was vindictive and dozens of others who called and claimed they quit or retired from the prison system be cause they felt retaliated against for not participating in sports or for talking to departmental investigators about Clark and his friends.
Crosby said he was not aware of Clark's reputation as a vindictive person or someone who would force an officer into changing shifts or being transferred to another prison.
"I'm not aware of that at all. I would have to look at it on a case-by-case basis," Crosby said. "Find out who these people are and see if you can substantiate this going on. I don't think you will be able to. Also, correctional officers are protected by their union so they have a way to appeal these things."
Correctional officers have been uniformly adamant about wanting to remain anonymous in discussing their situations and concerns with reporters. Even former prison employees have asked not to be identified for fear their relatives still working in the prison system would be retaliated against.
Gov. Jeb Bush on Tuesday firmly defended Crosby, despite the investigations surrounding Crosby's close friend.
"I did ask Jimmy if he was aware of any of these activities … he said emphatically, 'No,'" Bush said. "I take him at his word. He's a good man. He's done a good job."
Bush added that the "piling on" of news media reports on the investigation hasn't affected his confidence in Crosby.
"Sometimes … there's an inclination in public life that's cut and run, you know, throw the guy off the boat. I'm not that kind of person."
Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or email@example.com. Joe Follick is a reporter in The Sun Tallahassee Bureau and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Poor morale, if it reaches epidemic proportions, can ravage any organization."
Editorial: Crosby's real problem
October 14. 2005 6:01AM
Hard-working correctional professionals deserve a leader who doesn't encourage a spoils system for promotions.
How to get ahead in corrections: Have friends at the top. Make it a family affair. Help politicians get elected. Swing a mean bat.
How else to explain the meteoric rise of Allen Clark - a high school dropout with a terrible disciplinary record - from correctional officer to director of one of Florida's four prison regions?
Clark, who resigned just as an FBI-Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation of DOC was gaining steam, appears to have had one overriding qualification for his rapid advancement through the ranks; a fast friendship with Corrections Secretary James Crosby.
That Clark was also an enthusiastic campaign worker for Republican candidates, including Gov. Jeb Bush, likely didn't hurt him either. Nor the fact that he is said to be a passionate softball player in an organization that values its softball teams.
And good fortune runs in the family. Clark's brother, Rick, had virtually no qualifications for the $37,166-a-year inspectors job he held at Taylor Correctional Institution - until DOC officials recently discovered a "clerical" error and demoted him.
Whatever qualifications Allan Clark's teenage son, Lance, possessed that enabled him to move right out of high school and into a $26,841-a-year position at Apalachee Correctional Institution were apparently good enough to lift him over 33 other candidates.
And Clark's wife, Lori, went from a $14,000-a-year clerk typist to a management consultant making $47,656 annually in just over a decade.
It is too early to know what the outcome of the joint investigation will be. So far, however, eight correctional officers have been charged with various offenses, and several others, including Clark, have had to surrender cars, trailers and other equipment to investigators.
In addition, a former minor-league baseball player turned prison librarian has been charged with theft. The FDLE, reports the Tallahassee Democrat, "said the man's main job was to play softball in Crosby's departmental tournament."
Crosby attributes the quick rise through the ranks by Clark and others to the fact that a lot of long-time DOC employees are retiring and need to be replaced.
"There are dozens of examples" of younger officers moving up quickly, he told The Sun this week.
Crosby is said to be a well-respected career correctional professional with fast alliances in Tallahassee. But even if he is not implicated in the investigation, Crosby may have a bigger problem that could seriously impact his ability to continue to run a $2 billion-a-year, 20,000-employee organization.
As Karen Voyles and Joe Follick reported on Thursday, dozens of DOC employees have been calling The Sun to complain about what they consider to be favoritism and unfair treatment in DOC's upper ranks.
"Correctional officers have been uniformly adamant about wanting to remain anonymous in discussing their situations and concerns with reporters," they wrote. "Even former prison employees have asked not to be identified for fear their relatives still working in the prison system would be retaliated against."
Working in corrections - trying to control some of the most violent and dangerous people in the world - can be a nasty, dangerous job under the best circumstances. If rank-and-file correctional workers are becoming convinced that friendship and not merit is the key to advancement, then Crosby has a bigger problem than anything that has thus far been turned up in the investigation.
Poor morale, if it reaches epidemic proportions, can ravage any organization. In an organization created to keep dangerous felons under lock and key, it is an epidemic that can have fatal results.
Crosby's greatest asset is said to be his understanding of the "culture" of corrections. But the very culture at DOC is unraveling on his watch.
Honest, hard-working correctional professionals want and deserve fair and impartial leadership, not a culture of cronyism.
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FDOC full of nepotism and favoritism.
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