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Florida Commission on Offender Review

Draft opinion says Tena Pate not banned from lobbying

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A proposed Florida Commission on Ethics opinion says Tena Pate, former chair of the state’s parole panel, is not subject to the state’s two-year lobbying ban on high-level employees. A staff-written advisory opinion, released Friday, will be considered for approval at the commission’s Oct. 21 meeting. Pate chaired the Florida Commission on Offender Review, formerly known as the Florida Parole Commission, beginning in 2010 after being appointed in 2003. She resigned to run for the nonpartisan Leon County Supervisor of Elections seat this year. Pate lost in…

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Florida parole board sets path to freedom for prison Houdini

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A man known as the “prison Houdini” for his numerous escapes was given a path to freedom Thursday, 36 years after being convicted of stealing mechanic tools his father bequeathed to him. Florida’s parole board voted 2-1 to set a July 26 release date, choosing to get Mark DeFriest help for mental health issues and prepare him for the world outside of prison rather than punish him for acting out after a series of recent missteps left him in solitary…

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