Former Florida Senate President Joe Negron is being paid $400,000 a year by a private prison company that he helped while he was a legislative leader, POLITICO reported.
Negron, a Republican lawyer from Stuart, took the job with the GEO Group shortly after he stepped down as the state Senate leader in November. Based on filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, POLITICO said Negron has been given a two-year contract to work as the prison company’s general counsel. The contract can be renewed for additional two-year periods until Negron, who is 57, reaches the age of 67.
While Negron was in the Senate leadership, POLITICO reported GEO contributed $300,000 to Negron and affiliated political committees since 2013. The private prison company also gave $100,000 to the failed 2016 congressional bid of his wife, Rebecca.
The current state budget, which was approved while Negron was the Senate leader, includes a $4 million increase in funding for the companies that operate private prisons in Florida, POLITICO reported. GEO has five of the facilities.
In the prior budget year, Negron helped secure $2.9 million to expand GEO’s “continuum of care” program that is aimed rehabilitating offenders, POLITICO reported.
In a December report by POLITICO, former state Rep. David Richardson, a Miami-Dade County Democrat, said “all taxpayers should be appalled by the apparent conflicts of interests” in the arrangement between Negron and GEO.
“As Senate president, Mr. Negron made sure to take care of his friends at GEO, just as they took care to support his wife’s congressional run, related political committees and other initiatives,” Richardson told POLITICO. “It does not surprise me that the GEO leaders have now offered him a big job inside their private prison industrial complex.”