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Another Scott departure? Prisons chief seeks new job

Ken Tucker has brought stability to the Florida Department of Corrections, but he might not be around much longer. The fifth man to run the prison system in the past six years is angling for a new job.  

On the job for less than a year as chief of the nation's third-largest prison system, Tucker has told his senior staff and Gov. Rick Scott's office that he may leave as soon as October. He has applied for the directorship of an anti-drug initiative between the federal and state governments called the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and has made his intentions very clear to senior staff in the agency and to Scott's people.

"He did apply for the position, and he spoke with the governor's office first," said Tucker's spokeswoman, Ann Howard

Tucker's long career in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement may make him a logical fit for the new position: HIDTA works with FDLE in Northeast Florida on drug cases -- the kind Tucker worked on regularly earlier in his career. In addition, Tucker's roots are in that part of the state (he's a native of Bunnell and worked as a cop in Daytona Beach) and he and his wife are looking forward to living there once again, Howard said.

Tucker would have been gone by next spring anyway: His retirement in the state's DROP program is March 2013. Leaving sooner rather than later would give the governor's office time to groom a new prisons chief before the next legislative session begins next March. 

Tucker, 58, would be the eighth high-level agency head to depart since Scott took office 19 months ago. The national HIDTA director, Michael Gottlieb, works in the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the White House.

Even though he had no experience in corrections, Tucker was hired from FDLE to take over last August after Scott and his former chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, decided to dismiss Ed Buss, who had been highly recruited from Indiana but who soon ran afoul of the governor's office. 

-- Steve Bousquet


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Can't Take Anymore

I doubt there are any agency heads in Florida who actually expect to continue their jobs into a second Scott administration. Few (if any) of them genuinely share his delusion that he has any chance of being re-elected in 2014.


there won't be a second scott administration - no worries

Unsurprised Worker

No surprise that another rat is leaving the ship. Disillusioned workers have been leaving in droves for years. Rick Scott has purposely killed the morale of workers while seeking to privatize for profit...his own! No pay raises or cost of living adjustments in 7 years, a significant reduction in contribution to those in the highly taunted investment plan, an actual paycut in the form of a "unlawful" 3 percent pick pocket with the smoke screen of saying it was going into retirement which it really wasn't going into. I would be surprised of the Department of Corrections can survive these death blows.


The author of this article has consistently written as if he is on the payroll of the Republican Party of Florida and especially that of the governor. The only stability that Ken Tucker brought to the Department of Corrections was that of a flunky for the governor. Doesn't have an original idea of his own or a backbone to stand up for what is right. Morale is at an all time low and this clown led the parade along with Rick the.....


"rat is leaving the ship", right. Completed by "the fish stinks from the head". Expect a third saying.

Ezri J Rediker

William Dixon for FDOC Secretary? Sounds good to me.

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