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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott's office suddenly pulls plug on MSNBC's 'Lockup' series in Florida Panhandle prison



lockup.jpgThe state Department of Corrections proudly announced a week ago that MSNBC had chosen Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton to shoot six episodes of its popular "Lockup" series over eight weeks. But suddenly, word came from Gov. Rick Scott's office late Wednesday that the agency was to cancel the contract, which would have paid the state $110,000.

MSNBC's crew scouted locations in the Panhandle prison last month and shooting began this week.

"We've stopped the production and we're looking at it," said Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss, who signed the original contract. "There are some legal issues being reviewed." He declined to be more specific until he confers with agency lawyers. "I don't know what they are," Buss said.

There is no comment yet from the governor's office. Scott's general counsel, Charles Trippe, who sources said delivered the news to DOC's counsel, referred questions to the governor's press office. It's probably just a coincidence, but MSNBC's liberal night-side anchor, Rachel Maddow, has been a persistent critic of Scott and his policies.

"Lockup" is a reality-based series about what life is really like in prisons, and some of Florida's toughest cons are housed in Santa Rosa. The show has a strong following: The Washington Post's Jack Curry wrote this piece last month on how devoted some of the show's viewers can be.  



[Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:30pm]


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