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Union files ethics complaint against Florida prison privatization scheme

Investigation to focus on illegal private sector political contributions.

Wood: The prison privatization scheme smacks of political payback, pure and simple.TAMPA BAY, FL, September 27, 2011: Florida's Ethics Commission has found that the ethics complaint filed by the Teamsters Union is "legally sufficient" and will result in an investigation into Gov. Rick Scott's plan to privatize the state's prisons.

The Teamsters Union filed the complaint September 12, raising major concerns about Scott and the Republican Party accepting nearly $1 million in inaugural contributions from two companies that have advocated for the governor to privatize the state's prison system and are seeking contracts.

"The governor's privatization scheme smacks of political payback, pure and simple," said Ken Wood, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Teamsters Local 79 in Tampa. "I applaud the Ethics Commission for moving forward with an investigation. As a result, the bid process now under way for management contracts is tainted and should be stopped immediately. Privatizing Florida's prisons won't save the state money. It will result in poor management and it will damage communities."

Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officers have come out in support of the Teamsters' complaint and in overwhelming opposition to the governor's attempts to railroad through his privatization scheme. And, FDOC employees have rallied with the Teamsters in the hopes that the union can become their bargaining agent.

The Teamsters are assisting 20,000 FDOC officers seeking aggressive representation on the job.

Links and sources
  Ethics complaint prompts investigation into Scott's prison privatization plan

Posted: September 29, 2011

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