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Feb 13,2008
Report: Strange culture at Fla. prisons
by UPI

MIAMI -- The former head of Florida's prison system says the agency was out of control when he stepped into the job two years ago.

James McDonough, who resigned last week, told CNN Tuesday that high-ranking officials reminded him of Mafioso from his native New York who ruled over an agency riddled with alcohol, petty corruption and a huge emphasis on interdepartmental softball teams.

"I cannot explain how big an obsession softball had become," McDonough said. ""People were promoted on the spot after a softball game … because they were able to hit a softball out of the park a couple times."

More than 300 prison officials and guards were fired or demoted during McDonough's tenure. His predecessor, James Crosby, was sentenced to prison for taking bribes.

McDonough said he had an idea what he was getting into on his first day when he arrived at Crosby's old office and found it sealed off with crime scene tape.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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