Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ex-Prison Official Gives Up in Beating; He Is Charged with Assaulting Another Man at a Banquet in April

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ex-Prison Official Gives Up in Beating; He Is Charged with Assaulting Another Man at a Banquet in April

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT GALNOR and PAUL PINKHAM

A former prison official at the center of a massive investigation into the Florida Department of Corrections turned himself in to police on a felony battery charge Wednesday.

Allen Clark, 40, was wanted in the beating of a man at an April law enforcement banquet in Tallahassee. Two other high-ranking corrections officials who worked under Clark were arrested Tuesday in Marianna.

Clark's lawyer called Leon County prosecutors Wednesday and negotiated his surrender on an arrest warrant, said Chief Assistant State Attorney Robin Lotane. Clark was released on $5,000 bail.

Clark resigned in August from his $94,000-a-year job amid speculation about his connection to several former prison guards already arrested or convicted as part of a two-year state and federal probe.

He has close ties to Department of Corrections Secretary James Crosby, who promoted Clark several times despite a history of disciplinary issues. Clark also was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to a state judicial nominating commission.

Clark's prior issues include claims in 1998 and 1999 that he rigged an employee club election, mishandled funds, threatened other corrections employees and took prison property. He was demoted two ranks in 1999 but had been promoted several times since, including three times in 2003 and 2004. When he stepped down, he was regional director of all prisons in the Panhandle. He is a former warden at Florida State Prison in Starke.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents seized Clark's Jeep in September during an investigation into theft of prison property and misuse of inmate labor. They also seized trailers, workout equipment and another vehicle from five other corrections officers as part of that probe. No charges have been filed.

Crosby, through spokesman Robby Cunningham, wouldn't comment on Clark because he no longer works for the prison system. …

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