Sen. JD Alexander said Thursday that the forced resignation of Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Buss on Wednesday was warranted. He told reporters after meeting with Gov. Rick Scott that he doubted the department's claim that the privitization effort could "cripple the agency" because of a potential $25 million owed to staff for comp time, vacation pay and sick leave if they lose their jobs.
"Whether or not that number ever comes to pass is questionable,'' said Alexander, the Senate budget chief who allowed the private prison plan to be quietly inserted into the budget without debate in the final days of the session. "I support the governor's change in the secretary.''
Legislators tucked into the budget the requirement that all 12 major prisons in the Department of Corrections Region IV be run by private companies. The region encompasses an 18-county area from Ocala southward, and includes about 3800 employees.