4 prison officers placed on leave
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
The Florida Department of Corrections has placed four employees on paid administrative leave until allegations about their involvement with steroids can be resolved.
None of the men had been charged with federal or state crimes at the time they were suspended.
"We have placed four employees on administrative leave in an abundance of caution until we can gather the facts ourselves and determine if additional action is warranted," said prisons' spokesman Robby Cunningham.
The employees were relieved of their duties Friday after department officials determined all four were being investigated by federal officials for involvement with steroids.
Those placed on administrative leave were identified as Kevin Kennington, a lieutenant at the South Florida Reception Center in Miami-Dade County; Stacey Green, a sergeant at Lake Correctional Institution in Clermont; Robert Combass, a correctional officer at New River Correctional Institution in Raiford; and Chuck Wilson, a sergeant at New River. None of the officers could be reached for comment late Friday.
Cunningham said the decision to place the men on leave was made because the department "takes these situations very seriously and we will investigate and deal with this as quickly and as sternly as is warranted."
Over the past several months, five former prison workers have reached plea agreements with federal officials for their part in importing steroids from Egypt for distribution in Florida. It was not immediately clear whether the four employees suspended from their jobs on Friday were implicated in the previously disclosed steroids case.
The two groups of men are tied together by prison softball teams, specifically the 2002 Big House team coached by former Regional Director Allen Clark.
Three of the men who have entered pleas in the steroids case played on the team, as well as Kennington and Combass, according to a team roster. The behavior of the 2002 team was so obnoxious and unsportsmanlike during a law enforcement tournament in Tampa that the team was barred from participating in the tournament for two years.
Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or voylesk@ gvillesun.com.
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