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Former Rick Scott general counsel Pete Antonacci lines up controversial lobbying client

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As reported earlier this week in Florida Politics, Pete Antonacci –– former general counsel for Gov. Rick Scott – is back in the influence business at his former firm GrayRobinson.

Last week, Antonacci’s roster of clients were relatively anodyne, but not so as of today with the registration of his fourth client. Antonacci has signed up private prison giant Corizon, a firm that does a great deal of sensitive business with the state.

New Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones is looking to overhaul exactly the kinds of facilities run by Corizon amid reports of prisoner abuse and neglect across the state.

Jones is the second straight DOC chief to take an interest in the company: former Secretary Mike Crews –– very much in the news these days — awarded Corizon a boost in its contract last year and has now been critical in legislative hearings of Florida’s prisons, particularly the for-profit variety.

Doubtless, firms that contract with the state of Florida to provide correctional services could certainly use a PR push right about now.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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