Sen. Paula Dockery, a three-time chairwoman of the Senate committee that handles prison issues, came to the defense of departing Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Buss on Friday, saying that he made the mistake of speaking his mind on the controversial prison privatization effort. Buss resigned abruptly Wednesday after six months on the job.
“The governor hired Ed Buss from Indiana because of his record as a reformer,’’ said Dockery, R-Lakeland. “I think Secretary Buss arrived with the expectation that he would have to autonomy to make changes but I think the governor – and/or his inner circle – was uncomfortable with that autonomy.
“My gut would tell me that of all the issues that have come up, privatizing prisons was the deciding factor.”