Jeffery Beasley, inspector general of the Florida Department of Corrections, is stepping down to assume another role at the embattled agency, reports the Miami Herald. His announcement comes after more than a year of widespread criticism and allegations by corrections officers, inspectors, law enforcement officers and prisoners that he and others in his office failed to investigate, and in some cases, may have even thwarted, investigations into the suspicious deaths, beatings and medical neglect of inmates.
Beasley suggested that the local, state and federal inquiries into inmate deaths would reveal no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Beasley, 41, also said he is not being “run out on a rail,'' but rather, elected voluntarily to move into a new role as head of the inspector general's intelligence division, which is tasked with probing inmate-generated crime, including identity theft and drug and tobacco trafficking. “This is a phenomenal move and opportunity,'' Beasley said. The move comes at the same time that Melinda Miguel, Gov. Rick Scott's chief inspector general, released the results of her probe into claims made by a handful of current and former investigators who alleged that Beasley directed them to back off criminal probes into wrongdoing in the agency, and when they failed to do so, placed them under bogus internal affairs investigations. Miguel concluded there was no “substantive evidence'' that Beasley had pressured staff to keep investigations in house rather than pursuing criminal charges.