Florida legislators investigating deaths of three juvenile inmates in state facilities criticized Department of Juvenile Justice officials yeserday for not firing and suspending more people, says the Orlando Sentinel. Officials said they had resisted their own urges to go on a firing spree to give an internal investigation time to proceed.
The officials said a review is nearly complete and could likely lead to the dismissal of several employees and other reforms. Rep. Gus Barreiro (R-Miami Beach), head of the House Select Committee on Juvenile Detention Facilities, called the department’s actions “too little and too late,” and said he might continue holding hearings.
The hearing added to the heat on Juvenile Justice Secretary Bill Bankhead and senior administrators who have been under fire. last month, a group of lawmakers called on Gov. Jeb Bush to fire Bankhead and others. A Miami-Dade County grand jury indicted two nurses in the death of 17-year-old Omar Paisley while he was in state custody. He died June 9 of a ruptured appendix after pleading with officials three days for medical care. The grand jury said the agency was plagued by “incompetence, ambivalence and negligence.”