The Florida Department of Corrections, an agency notorious for cronyism, has a number of double-dippers at its highest levels, reports the St. Petersburg Times. Those who have been allowed to “retire” and return to work drawing a salary and a monthly retirement check include at least six prison wardens and two deputy secretaries of the department. In all last year, more than 200 DOC employees were paid more than $11.6 million in annual salaries while also drawing more than $4 million in annual retirement checks.
In tight budget times, in which the department must now eliminate 199 probation officers and 132 administrative positions, the double-dipping numbers don’t sit well with rank-and-file employees or with the union that represents prison guards. Former DOC chief James McDonough said he granted permission for the top people to double-dip because desperate times called for desperate measures. McDonough took over a department in disarray. He said he needed to allow some of the best employees to double-dip or risk losing them at a time he could ill afford to lose experienced workers he felt he could trust.