Sometime in August 2013, Department of Corrections senior investigators Aubrey Land and John Ulm sat down with their boss, Inspector General Jeffery Beasley, to talk about possible corruption in the department.
That day and in coming days, they detailed how they had found evidence that corrections officers had lied and had falsified reports, and how some of their fellow prison inspectors may have sabotaged an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement into the 2010 death of an inmate at Franklin Correctional Institution.
Beasley did not seem overly concerned, one person who was at that initial meeting recalled, and instead complained that investigators were spending too much time with FDLE agents, who often turned every case into a “longevity’’ project. The comment didn’t sit well with FDLE special agent Ed King, a 25-year law enforcement officer who was in the room.
“Son,” King is said to have replied, “you ain’t in Atmore, Alabama no more. We don’t just walk by and kick a rock every now and then. We turn them over to see what’s under them around here.’’
Turning over rocks is the job of the DOC’s inspector general, whose mission is to “protect and promote public integrity” and root out corruption in the department. “I think he is doing a great job,” Beasley’s boss at the Department of Corrections, Julie Jones, told the Herald/Times recently.
But, according to records reviewed by the Miami Herald, Beasley and his office have a history of dismissing allegations and avoiding prosecutions when it comes to suspicious inmate deaths, and allegations of abuse and official corruption.
For the past eight months, the Herald and other news organizations have reported on a string of brutal, unnatural inmate deaths, on smuggling of drugs and other contraband by staff, and on purported cover-ups of wrongdoing.
Like pieces of a puzzle, these allegations and others have started to fit together for some members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, who have concluded the nation’s third-largest prison system has demonstrated it is incapable of policing itself. Read more here.
Original article here.