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Florida Board Rules Convicted Prison Guard Can’t Collect Retirement Benefits

by Monte McCoin

PLN’s regular readers will recall our previous coverage of the arrests and convictions of three Ku Klux Klan members who formerly worked as prison guards at Florida’s Reception and Medical Center, who conspired to place a “hit” on a recently-released African American prisoner. David Elliot Moran, Charles Thomas Newcomb and Thomas Jordan Driver were each sentenced in 2017 to serve 12 years in prison in connection with the scheme. [See: PLN, Apr. 2018, p.48; Feb. 2016, p.1].

On July 8, 2018, Florida’s State Board of Administration (SBA) rejected Moran’s attempt to collect state retirement benefits despite his criminal conviction for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Moran had claimed there was no connection between the murder-for-hire plot and his employment as a prison guard, but an administrative law judge disagreed in May 2018, and the SBA upheld that decision in response to Moran’s appeal.

“It might have been difficult for petitioner and his co-conspirators to carry out a murder or attempted murder of an inmate at the correctional facility at which they worked or had worked. However, just because the conspiracy to commit murder occurred off the employer’s premises, does not mean that forfeiture [of benefits] would not be appropriate,” the SBA ruled. 



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