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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Florida Corrections:  Centuries of Progress

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April 24, 2007 - Crosby is Convicted

Former Secretary James Crosby
Former Secretary
James Crosby

Former Corrections Secretary James Crosby is sentenced to eight years in prison for accepting $130,000 in kickbacks from a prison contractor. The following day, his co-conspirator Allen Clark is sentenced to 31 months in federal prison for doing the same. Clark’s sentence is shorter because he cooperated with authorities, wearing a wire and recording conversations he had with Crosby.

That week, Assistant Secretary of Institutions George Sapp sends the following letter to all staff, giving voice to the sentiments of many. Sapp also thanks staff for staying with the Department during this dark chapter, emphasizing that honor, integrity and honesty not only define us as individuals, but as an agency.

Message from Assistant Secretary Sapp

Assistant Secretary for Institutions George Sapp
Assistant Secretary of Institutions George Sapp

As a servant of this Department for over 27 years I feel compelled to provide you with my personal perspective on the recent chapter in the Department’s history.
While none of us is without shortcomings, we must overcome the temptations that would push us toward the realm of corruption and other misdeeds. The sentencing of former Secretary James Crosby in Federal Court by Judge Covington was the end result of leadership gone awry.

He and others must now pay the price for their actions. Despite the problems with prior senior leadership we should recognize that there were many good Department employees who held their heads high, continuing to do the job for which they were hired in a professional and ethical manner.

When you are given the responsibility of guarding the public trust it is an awesome duty. As you can see from a transcript of the court proceedings there is no greater sin for a public official (of which we all are) than to violate the trust placed in us. There is no such thing as being “a little corrupt.”

Everyone should hold the Oath of Allegiance and the Code of Conduct as their mantra. Every Department employee is charged with these responsibilities. We are a nation of laws and as you saw in this case none of us is above the law. I have said many times that if you do the right thing for the right reasons, everything will fall into place.

We must continue to hold our honor, integrity and honesty close to our hearts. These attributes define who we are as individuals and as an agency. I personally want to thank all who stayed with the agency and fought through this difficult time. We are charged by the state with a very difficult mission and I have no doubt that we will continue to be the professionals we are as we carry out that mission.

Continue to do well and be safe.

George Sapp
Assistant Secretary of Institutions




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