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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Press Release
March 23, 2007
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Leadership Changes in Florida's Prison System

Tallahassee - Four Department of Corrections' employees are being recognized for demonstrating exceptional leadership and valor on the job during two recent incidents.

"I am very proud of each of these officers," said Secretary James R. McDonough. "In each case, they placed the safety and well-being of others before their own, responded quickly, utilized their expertise and took control of what could have escalated into a much more serious situation. They epitomize what leadership in this department is about."

The following changes will be effective immediately:

  • Correctional Officer Sergeant Bruce Sooy from Hendry Correctional Institution, has been promoted to Major at Hendry CI, for his role in helping identify an alleged case of inmate abuse;

  • CO Sergeant Ronald Heider from Hendry CI, has been recommended for promotion to Lieutenant at Hendry CI, for his role in helping identify an alleged case of inmate abuse;

  • CO Captain Paul Smich III from Charlotte CI, has been promoted to Major (location to be determined) and will receive a Letter of Commendation for diffusing a potentially deadly inmate altercation without further incident or injury;

  • CO Sergeant Joseph Johnson from Charlotte CI, will receive a Letter of Commendation, and has been recommended by the Secretary for a Medal of Valor and for a promotion (to be determined) for risking his own life to save that of an inmate.

For further information, please contact the Communications Office at 850/488-0420.

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