Prisons chief Tucker now in talks with U.S. attorney
Gov. Rick Scott's top prison official, Secretary of Corrections Ken Tucker, confirms he is having discussions with Pamela Marsh, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida, about a possible position there.
"We're definitely having discussions, but it's not final yet," Tucker said. "I'm not ready to comment on that yet."
Tucker, who is scheduled to leave the nation's third-largest prison system next March as he begins a deferred option retirement program, has been seeking other employment opportunities. But he was passed over for a position coordinating drug trafficking investigations in Northeast Florida.
"We're looking at my tenure not being a lot longer over there," Tucker said of his current job. He emphasized he would not cash in unused sick leave to accelerate his departure date.
In the speculation over who might succeed Tucker, two names have surfaced: Mike Crews, the prison system's deputy secretary and Tucker's No. 2, and Tim Cannon, assistant secretary for institutions and a 24-year veteran of DOC.
Tucker brought Crews to the prison system from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where the two men worked together for years. Tucker called Crews "well-respected across the state," but said he would not lobby the governor's office on his deputy's behalf. "I recognize that's a decision the governor will make," Tucker said, "and I would strongly support his decision, regardless."