Ed Buss had a lot to say in the short time he ran Florida’s prisons, and even though he was fired, he’s still talking, says the St. Petersburg Times. That may help explain why his former boss, Gov. Rick Scott, was so insistent that Buss not testify under oath in a lawsuit against the state over the privatization of dozens of state prisons. Buss lost his $145,000-a-year job in August after clashing with the governor’s office.
He was around long enough to make skeptical statements about a privatization venture that was hatched by the Legislature, discussed only fleetingly in public and imposed on his former agency without ever seeking his expert opinion. The Florida Police Benevolent Association, the union for correctional officers whose jobs are endangered by privatization, wanted to put Buss under oath in its lawsuit seeking to have the outsourcing declared illegal. Scott and his lawyers sought to silence Buss, saying an important principle was at stake. “It’s a common principle that high-ranking people in government don’t testify,” Scott said. “And the problem is that if they change that, what’s going to happen is you’re going to have people that won’t want to take these jobs because what’s happened is they’ll always be in depositions or testifying?”