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Scott hires outsiders to run prison system, emergency management

TALLAHASSEE — Gov.-elect Rick Scott looked outside Florida to hire the first two agency heads in his new administration.

Scott announced Monday that Indiana Department of Corrections Commissioner Edwin G. Buss will take over the same agency in Florida, while Bryan W. Koon of Arkansas will head the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Scott's transition team did not release salary information for either hire.

Koon, 39, comes from Wal-Mart headquarters in Arkansas, where he has been director of the company's emergency management operations since February 2009.

A former surface warfare officer in the Navy, Koon worked nearly seven years in the White House Military Office. He also worked for SRA International, a Virginia-based homeland security consulting firm.

Buss, 45, was appointed to the Indiana job in August 2008 after working as superintendent of two state prisons. He was named the state's prison superintendent of the year in 2005.

In Florida, he will preside over the state's $2.4 billion corrections budget, which Scott has promised to cut by $1 billion.

Buss dealt with budget issues in Indiana, where lawmakers refused to build prisons or cut sentences for certain crimes to handle overcrowding. Indiana has about 29,000 inmates compared to 102,000 in Florida.

To offset the costs in Indiana, Buss cut the prison staff by almost 1,000, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

Scott hires outsiders to run prison system, emergency management 12/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:01pm]
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