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Florida Corrections Head Ken Tucker Bids Adieu To Employees In Farewell Address


Florida’s prison chief is stepping down from his role as the head of one of the nation’s largest prison systems. While Ken Tucker’s official last day is at the end of December, he bid farewell to the Florida Department of Corrections in a video message Wednesday.

With only about 15 months on the job, Tucker is preparing to leave because he’s approaching a mandatory retirement date. In his farewell video, Tucker says he has mixed feelings.

“Not feeling that joy and elation I thought I would have felt over reaching retirement. I felt almost a sense of disappointment in myself at a time when the agency is still struggling.”

The department has been involved in legal battles over privatization with some still ongoing as well as an investigation into claims of excessive force on several prison inmates. When he officially leaves, Tucker will be the second department head to leave under the Governor’s tenure.

And, in his video message, Tucker points out people who have been in his position in the past have had relatively short terms as well.

"Wish I could have stretched the numbers from being the sixth Secretary in seven years, and hopefully, whoever replaces me, will be someone with a longer tenure in this position that can lead you to be the agency that I think all of you and I know that you can be."

His last day is December 28th. Until that date, Tucker is expected to use leftover annual leave to spend time with his family, but he will be available to the agency for official duties.

A spokeswoman for the Governor's office would not confirm or deny if the Governor is already looking for Tucker's replacement, only saying "the Secretary has not yet officially resigned."

Below is Tucker's full farewell address:

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.