"We ashamed of what they did, yes, but they were not the system."
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary James McDonough had harsh words for his predecessor, James Crosby, and several other DOC employees indicted on corruption charges.
Crosby is pleading guilty to accepting $135,000 in kick backs from Keefe Commissary Network, allegedly an exchange for the state contract. Former Regional Director Allen Clark is also accused of taking part in the deal.
Paul Perez, U.S. Attorney, said, "These charges are disturbing. They're disturbing because they go all the way to the top of the Department of Corrections."
The Keefe Contract is now under intense scrutiny, up for re-bidding. It's among several actions McDonough's taken to clean up the act at DOC since stepping in in February, calling it a change of culture.
James McDonough, Florida Department of Corrections secretary, said, “That's why we did a code of ethics, that's why we did a promotions system that was objective. That’s why we revamped the training system."
Twenty one prison officials have been prosecuted in the probe. McDonough said Tuesday, the rots been purged and that it's a new day of ethical duty and high morale.
McDonough said, "We will in fact put this behind us as a sorry chapter in the history of this department.”
McDonough counted off 40 people fired, resigned or demoted. That's just on the institution side. He's also expecting a report to come back next week from MGT. That company is conducting an external evaluation of the state's DOC, taking a close look at issues like contracting and the treatment of female inmates.