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Crosby pleads guilty to accepting kickbacks

The former corrections chief admitted accepting the money and agreed to cooperate in a continuing investigation of others in an effort to get a reduced prison sentence.

By LUCY MORGAN
Published July 5, 2006


Former Corrections Chief James V. Crosby Jr. has admitted taking more than $130,000 in kickbacks between October 2003 and February of 2006 when he was forced to resign.

In a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors Wednesday, Crosby admitted corruptly accepting the money and agreed to cooperate in a continuing investigation of others in an effort to get a reduced prison sentence.

Allen Clark, former director of prisons in North Florida and a close Crosby associate, entered a similar agreement with prosecutors. Both men have agreed to forfeit assets acquired with the kickbacks they received.

Clark resigned on August 30, 2005, as state and federal investigators began looking at his conduct.

The kickbacks were allegedly paid by Edward L. Dugger and an associate in return for a subcontract obtained for prison canteen sales handled by Keefe Commissary Network.

Dugger is described as ""the conspirator'' in documents filed in federal court Wednesday. He did not return a telephone call from a Times reporter.

Crosby worked his way up through the state prison system after going to work in 1975 and was named Secretary of the Department of Corrections in 2003 by Gov. Jeb Bush.

At the governor's urging, Crosby joined many other state officials in pursuit of private contracts to replace canteens previously run by prison inmates. He hired Keefe in 2003 under a contract that has since been criticized by state auditors.   

[Last modified July 5, 2006, 16:04:41]


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