• The creation of a fiscal monitoring unit to oversee contract expenditures,
• The development of a “quality control initiative” among contract managers “that ensures contracts are monitored, outstanding issues are addressed and contract managers are maintaining proper documentation,”
• The appointment of a new agency inspector general, Robert Munson, who was a financial crimes investigator, among other things, during a two-decade stint with the U.S. Secret Service.
Eubanks, his predecessor, was allowed to resign from the department in lieu of firing last June after a 25-year career in state government.
“We take seriously the report’s recommendations and will implement them as fully and as quickly as possible,” Walters said of the report in a prepared statement. “We understand the need for improvement and have already taken significant steps to reform how we procure services and conduct investigations.”
She added: “I am committed to ensuring that DJJ does business transparently and ethically.”
GAP’s contract with Florida’s youth corrections agency was not renewed earlier this year.
Lopez Lukis, in correspondence with the state, and McKinlay had argued strenuously that Eubanks had acted in her investigation with “malice” toward GAP. Eubanks had failed to interview Lopez Lukis or other GAP employees before concluding her investigation, and did not provide a copy of the report for Lopez Lukis’ review before completing the probe and allowing it to be released to the public — which state policy requires.
In her report, Miguel wrote that she “did not find sufficient evidence to indicate that the noted deficiencies” in Eubank’s effort “were based on malice toward GAP or GAP’s employees.”
The controversy over GAP began in 2008, when Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman, a veteran of the child welfare judiciary, told DJJ’s then-general counsel she had concerns that GAP employees were misusing state taxpayer dollars on items that did not directly benefit delinquent girls, such as lobbying state lawmakers and paying personal cellphone bills — allegations Lopez Lukis denied. DJJ’s report on the allegations was released three years later, after investigators with the state Department of Financial Services, who reviewed the probe, concluded in a brief memo that they saw no evidence that GAP had broken any laws. DFS did recommend, however, that juvenile justice administrators seek reimbursement of tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money.
On Nov. 17, 2011, Lopez Lukis asked the governor’s top investigator for an independent review of Eubanks’ findings, saying the report contained “a multitude of errors and omissions” and that Eubanks’ staff had failed to seek her side of the story before releasing it.
Miguel, the governor’s chief inspector general, wrote that her inquiry was intended only to “review the sufficiency of the evidence, findings, and conclusions contained” in DJJ’s report, and was not intended to “include a re-investigation of the underlying allegations contained in the DJJ…investigation.”
From the beginning, Lopez Lukis had said that no language in her contracts barred any of GAP’s expenditures.
“Ms. Lopez Lukis stated that GAP complied with the terms of the contract and should not be held liable for DJJ’s contract and monitoring errors,” the report said.