Forgotten Majority

Advocating for the just and humane treatment of those who are incarcerated.


firing squad For Immediate Release:     September 12, 2014 CONTACT: Florida Department of Corrections Communications Office: (850) 488-0420

First Coast News Interview/Forgotten Majority

DOC strictly enforcing zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate and criminal behavior by staff Tallahassee, Fla — Today the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) announced that in addition to the six members of its staff that were terminated yesterday, this week an additional seven were dismissed under the DOC’s new employee discipline policy.  Five employees of Lancaster Correctional Institution, Officer Earl Short, Officer Stephen Nygard, Officer Julious Riley, Sergeant Robert La Puma, and Sergeant Brittain Williams, were dismissed for battery on an inmate.  Officer Houston Biddle of Okaloosa Correctional Institution was dismissed for a DUI arrest and Officer Glen Gordon of Desoto was dismissed for an arrest for operating a motor vehicle with a Suspended/Cancelled/Revoked Driver’s License.

Last week DOC announced a strict zero-tolerance policy for employee misconduct and DOC Secretary Mike Crews sent a memo to all employees.  DOC employees who commit a criminal act will immediately be placed on administrative leave and the Department will initiate disciplinary action for their dismissal.  To view the complete memo, click Secretary Crews is personally visiting all 49 Department of Corrections institutions to emphasize the seriousness of this new policy and to deliver his expectations for transparency, accountability and professionalism. Secretary Crews said: “The action we have taken this week makes it clear that we will not tolerate inappropriate behavior or criminal activity by our staff.  Our staff should be held to the highest standards, and the zero-tolerance policy that we have put in place ensures that anyone who fails to do the right thing will no longer work for this agency.   We value our culture of professionalism and integrity, and we will not let the bad actions of a few undermine and tarnish the reputations of all the hard working men and women in our Department.  Enforcement of our new discipline policy is a critical step in ensuring that happens.”  

Attachment: Probable Cause Affidavits for Officer Earl Short, Officer Stephen Nygard, Officer Julious Riley, Sergeant Robert La Puma, and Sergeant Brittain Williams,  redacted for:Medical, psychological, and dental records, without a properly executed DC4-711B Consent for Release form. § 945.10(1)(a), 456.057(7)(a), F.S., 45 C.F.R., § 164.502; and the home addresses, telephone numbers, including cellular and personal pager numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of active or former department employees and/or their spouses and children; places of employment; daycare facilities, and/or schools of active or former department employees’ spouses and children (sections 119.071 (4)(d), F.S. and 945.10(1)(e), F.S. ### As Florida’s largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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