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FL DOC Corruption

The July 1, 1994, edition of the Tampa Tribune reported that graft and corruption permeate the Florida DOC's purchasing system. As an example, the story reported that an investigation by the state inspector general discovered the Florida DOC paid $5.42 for a single tube of Pepsodent toothpaste. The amount was paid even though the tubes still carried a drug store price tag of 97 cents. The toothpaste is purchased for Muslim prisoners because it does not contain pork by-products. The March 15, 1994, report from the inspector general stated that Glades Correctional Institution (GCI) spent $8,453 on toothpaste for approximately 100 Muslim prisoners between May, 1992, and August, 1993.

Despite finding a pattern of overpricing by C&C Industrial Supply, the Belle Glade company that sold GCI the toothpaste, the prison system continues doing business with the company. Florida Comptroller Gerald Lewis was never notified of the findings despite the fact that C&C has done over $608,000 worth of business with the DOC and other state agencies in the past three years.

GCI's purchasing manager, who approved the purchases is a personal friend of the C&C president. Their relationship was a key issue in the investigation, yet the manager was never disciplined. The inspector general is now conducting a probe into the DOC's buying habits.

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