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State corrections official quits over inmate transfers
He was under investigation for his inmate-transfer practices and was going to be fired.
By MEG LAUGHLIN, Times Staff Writer
Published October 13, 2007
A high-ranking corrections official resigned Friday morning, hours before he was to be fired.
David Tune, 51, administrator of the state's work release program, has been under investigation, along with other Corrections employees, for the "unfair and unethical" transfer of inmates.
Tune had been put on indefinite leave without pay while corrections investigators checked computer records to see if inmate files had been improperly altered or deleted to speed transfers between prisons. Officials are also concerned that the transfers may have been arranged for cash or other compensation.
Investigators were perplexed over missing data and discovered that Tune had "removed computer equipment and a cell phone from the office, without permission," according to department spokesperson Jo Ellyn Rackleff.
Was Tune seeking to cover up incriminating information?
"We don't know that to be the case, but the investigation is on-going," said Rackleff.
In his resignation letter, Tune wrote corrections chief Jim McDonough that he was retiring after "27 years of dedicated public service."
He acknowledged that he was the target of the investigation into how inmate transfers were done and said "these types of transfers have been occurring for at least 25 years and all of the Administrations ... have been aware of this practice."
During the three-month investigation, officials uncovered a network of lawyers and former corrections employees who received money -- between $2,000 and $7,000 -- from inmates and their families to arrange transfers to preferred prisons.No corrections employees have been charged with accepting compensation for arranging transfers. Two employees, however, have been demoted.
Friday, Tune wrote McDonough: "I have never received any type of compensation for ... assigned duties from anyone outside FDC (Florida Department of Corrections). I have been a dedicated, public servant with no other expectation than doing the right thing."
He ended his letter: "I will return all of the FDC property."
McDonough wrote Tune back Friday that "a decision to terminate" him, "based on information received during the investigation" had been reached the day before Tune turned in his resignation.
By Friday evening, said Rackleff, Tune had returned computer equipment and the phone. The investigation continues.