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State judge rules Florida prison privatization unconstitutional

Teamsters Union asks governor not to waste more public money on an appeal.

Scott and other candidates accepted political donations from companies seeking prison contracts.TAMPA, FL, October 3, 2011: In an open letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott, Ken Wood, Acting President of Teamsters Local 2011, called on the governor to respect a recent court decision halting prison privatization.

"It's good to know that the rule of law still applies in Florida, and the governor and elected officials should respect the rule of law," said Wood, who is also President of Teamsters Joint Council 75 in Tampa and a Florida resident.

On September 30, Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford ruled that lawmakers violated the state's constitution by using budget language to allow prisons in 18 South Florida counties to privatize.

Wood applauded the judge's ruling and, in his letter, demanded that Scott not further waste the state's resources by appealing the decision, calling on the governor to "drop prison privatization once and for all".

Scott is already facing an investigation resulting from an ethics complaint filed by Wood. The State of Florida Commission on Ethics found last month that the Teamsters' complaint was "legally sufficient" to launch an investigation into Scott's plan to privatize state prisons.

The complaint, filed on September 12, raises major concerns about Scott, political parties, and candidates accepting nearly $1 million in political and inaugural donations from two companies that have advocated for the governor to privatize the state's prison system and are seeking contracts.

Links and sources
  Teamsters leader calls on Gov. Scott to respect court ruling on privatization

Posted: October 06, 2011

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