Former State Prison Chief to Plead Guilty to Accepting Kickbacks

The former head of Florida’s prison system is admitting to accepting more than a $100,000 in kickbacks from state contractors.

Federal officials released details of their corruption probe into the state prison system this afternoon, and disgraced former Department of Corrections Secretary James Crosby’s name was at the top of the list.

Nine other current or former prison officials were also indicted. They all may now find themselves behind bars.

Former Department of Corrections Secretary James Crosby is pleading guilty to accepting $130,000 in kickbacks from fall of 2003 until his resignation in February. The federal indictment alleges Crosby was taking kickbacks of up to $12,000 a month from Keefe Commissary Network in return for giving Keefe the contract to run the state’s prison stores.

His attorney, Steve Andrews, says Crosby feels bad about it. “He wants to apologize to his family, the governor and also to DOC employees. He worked for the Department of Corrections for 33 years, had an unblemished record, and he made a mistake, and he’s accepted responsibility for it.”

Governor Jeb Bush forced Crosby to resign as head of the prison system earlier this year. Since then, several top officials here have been fired or reassigned.

The most recent indictments bring to 21 the total number of prison officials prosecuted in the corruption probe.

Florida Police Benevolent Association executive director David Murrell says the employees his union represents hope the indictments help close the book on the agency’s troubled past. “Most of the officers are tired of the bad publicity. They want it cleaned up and they want to go back to their jobs, which is protecting the citizens of Florida.”

If convicted, the former prison chief could face up to 10 years behind bars.

Others indicted include:

1. FDOC Region 1 Director Allen "A.C." Clark of Marianna
2. Richard Allen Frye Jr., 37, W/M, Former FDOC Colonel
Grand Theft - FL Statute 812.014

3. Paul Lamar Miller, 33, W/M, Former FDOC Officer
Grand Theft - FL Statute 812.014

4. Theodore J. Foray Jr., 46, W/M, Former FDOC Sergeant
Grand Theft - FL Statute 812.014

5. Lamar Edward Griffis, 49, W/M, Former FDOC Assistant Warden
Acceptance of Unauthorized Compensation - FL Statute 944.37

6. Bryan Kim Griffis, 36, W/M, Former FDOC Sergeant
Grand Theft - FL Statute 812.014

7. Christopher Paul Taylor, 34, W/M, Current FDOC Sergeant
Grand Theft - FL Statute 812.014

8. Bobbie Dewane Ruise, 41, B/M, Current FDOC Lieutenant
Grand Theft - FL Statute 812.014

9. Stephen Randall Parker, 32, W/M, Current FDOC Officer
Grand Theft - FL Statute 812.014

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