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Corrections Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit, Attorney Says it Could Have Cost State Less

November 30th, 2016 by flanews

Whistleblowers who tried to expose a cover up in the states department of corrections and claimed to be retaliated against will be getting a hearty pay day. As Matt Galka tells us, the price tag is on the backs of Florida taxpayers….and could have been *a lot* cheaper.

In 2010 – Franklin Correctional Institution inmate Randall Jordan-Aparo died in his cell.  The Department of Corrections said it was natural causes – but internal investigators alleged there was a potential cover up and that Jordan-Aparo was gassed to death.  The investigators then claim they were retaliated against.

“It’s been three years of hell for my clients,” said attorney Ryan Andrews.

Andrews handled the investigator’s whistleblower claim. The department settled for $800,000 dollars.

The settlement comes as the department is trying to fill critical staffing needs at prison’s around the state. The average correctional officer makes around $30,000 grand, and with more than $320,000 of tax payer money being used on the settlement, that could have filled 10 positions for one year.

The remaining part of the settlement will be handled by insurance.  But here’s the rub for taxpayers – Andrews says the lawsuit could have been settled for around $25,000 last year.

“Eventually they said look, just transfer us to another agency and let’s see, we’ll be happy to do that, keep our same rate of pay – no harm no foul. DOC was hoisted on their own petard, they were trying to to transfer people who they tarnished with bogus internal affairs investigations, and nobody wanted them,” said Andrews.

Franklin Correctional had a prison riot that forced a lockdown at the prison on the same day the settlement was filed.

We reached out to the Department of Corrections and asked about the settlement and if it could have been settled for less last year – we are awaiting their response.

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