Dept. of Corrections’ captain fired after failing to file report

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As the Florida Department of Corrections faces heavy scrutiny, Secretary Michael Crews fired a Columbia Correctional Institution captain on Tuesday for failing to report information about possible criminal activity at the facility.

In the dismissal letter, Crews accuses Capt. Jason Fox of not filing a report after receiving a phone call on February 1 from a Tampa police corporal, who informed him an inmate received a package that included cell phones, marijuana and weapons.

“Captain Fox’s failure to report this information compromised the safety of both staff and inmates,” Crews said in a statement issued Tuesday. The dismissal comes as the department is being questioned over suspicious inmate deaths.

Crews placed the Dade Correctional Institution warden on administrative leave last week, as well as announcing the retirement of another deputy warden.

Dade Correctional is at the center of a controversy over the death of an inmate allegedly punished by officers who forced him to shower in scalding water.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.