The head of the state’s prison system is seeking a new job, and he could be leaving as early as October. While Ken Tucker would be the second Florida Department of Corrections chief to leave during Governor Rick Scott’s term so far, he has the Governor’s blessing to do so.
Governor Rick Scott appointed Tucker as the Department of Corrections Secretary at the end of August of last year. Scott plucked Tucker from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where he worked for close to 30 years. He has recently applied for Directorship of an anti-drug initiative between the federal and state governments called the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) which works with FDLE in Northeast Florida on drug cases, the kind Tucker worked on earlier in his career. Tucker is a native of Bunnell and worked as a cop in Daytona Beach.
Tucker’s time with the state was expected to come to an end in March 2013, when his time in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, or DROP, was over and he could retire. Spokeswoman, Ann Howard, says an opportunity opened up for him to work with the federal government, and Tucker seized the chance: “This wonderful opportunity would actually take him back to the Jacksonville area, which is where he and his family are from. And, it really goes back to the roots of his public service career which is dealing with law enforcement and things like that. It would be dealing with anti-drug trafficking efforts over in that part of the country.”