Department of Corrections Swiftly Implementing New Discipline Policy

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Update:FDOC
September 12, 2014

Tallahassee, Fla -- Today the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) announced that in addition to the six members of its staff that were terminated yesterday, this week an additional seven were dismissed under the DOC’s new employee discipline policy. Five employees of Lancaster Correctional Institution, Officer Earl Short, Officer Stephen Nygard, Officer Julious Riley, Sergeant Robert La Puma, and Sergeant Brittain Williams, were dismissed for battery on an inmate. Officer Houston Biddle of Okaloosa Correctional Institution was dismissed for a DUI arrest and Officer Glen Gordon of Desoto was dismissed for an arrest for operating a motor vehicle with a Suspended/Cancelled/Revoked Driver’s License.

Last week DOC announced a strict zero-tolerance policy for employee misconduct and DOC Secretary Mike Crews sent a memo to all employees. DOC employees who commit a criminal act will immediately be placed on administrative leave and the Department will initiate disciplinary action for their dismissal. To view the complete memo, click HERE.
Secretary Crews is personally visiting all 49 Department of Corrections institutions to emphasize the seriousness of this new policy and to deliver his expectations for transparency, accountability and professionalism.

Secretary Crews said: “The action we have taken this week makes it clear that we will not tolerate inappropriate behavior or criminal activity by our staff. Our staff should be held to the highest standards, and the zero-tolerance policy that we have put in place ensures that anyone who fails to do the right thing will no longer work for this agency. We value our culture of professionalism and integrity, and we will not let the bad actions of a few undermine and tarnish the reputations of all the hard working men and women in our Department. Enforcement of our new discipline policy is a critical step in ensuring that happens.”

PDF Probable Cause Affidavits for Officer Earl Short, Officer Stephen Nygard, Officer Julious Riley, Sergeant Robert La Puma, and Sergeant Brittain Williams attached.


News Release: FDOC
September 11, 2014

Chipley, Fla -- The Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) announced today that five members of its staff, Sergeant William Finch, Sergeant James Perkins, Sergeant Robert Miller, Sergeant Christopher Christmas, and Sergeant Dalton Riley, were arrested by the Office of Inspector General for charges of felony battery on an inmate, and a sixth staff member, Captain James Kirkland, was arrested with additional charges of official misconduct.

The staff worked at Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley. All six have been dismissed from DOC as a result of their actions.

Secretary Mike Crews said: “These arrests and terminations send a very clear message: we have zero tolerance for criminal activity by our staff. I expect everyone to do what is right and I have restated my commitment to hold those who do not to meet our expectations accountable for their wrongdoing. Our staff should be held to the highest standards, and those who fail to do the right thing will no longer work for this agency. As I have emphasized to our staff in my meetings around the state, we will not let the bad actions of a few undermine our culture of professionalism and tarnish the reputations of all the hard working men and women in our Department.”

Secretary Crews and Deputy Secretary Tim Cannon met today with the command staff at Northwest Florida Reception Center as part of Crews’ commitment to personally visit every Department of Corrections institution to emphasize his expectations for transparency, accountability and professionalism.

Last week, DOC announced a strict zero-tolerance policy for employee misconduct. DOC employees who commit a criminal act will immediately be placed on administrative leave and the Department will initiate disciplinary action for their dismissal.



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