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Ex-guard stripped of benefits in murder conspiracy

A former correctional officer convicted of conspiring to murder a former inmate in a case that involved the Ku Klux Klan will lose his state retirement benefits, according to an order issued this week.

The State Board of Administration, which operates the retirement system, issued the order upholding a recommendation from an administrative law judge that David Moran should forfeit his benefits.

Moran, a former sergeant at the Florida Department of Corrections Reception and Medical Center at Lake Butler, was convicted in a plot to kill a black former inmate who had bitten another officer.

Moran and another correctional officer and a former officer involved in the plot were members of the Ku Klux Klan, according to a May recommended order by Administrative Law Judge Hetal Desai.

The men were arrested after enlisting an FBI informant to help kill the former inmate. The State Board of Administration informed Moran in 2017 that he had forfeited his benefits because of the conviction.

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Moran sought an administrative hearing, contending in part that there was not a connection between his job at the Department of Corrections and the conspiracy.

Desai disagreed, and the State Board of Administration order backed that opinion.

“It might have been difficult for petitioner and his co-conspirators to carry out a murder or attempted murder of an inmate at the correctional facility at which they worked or had worked,” this week’s order said.

“However, just because the conspiracy to commit murder occurred off the employer’s premises, does not mean that forfeiture (of benefits) would not be appropriate. There have been numerous cases that have found a sufficient nexus between the crime and public employment to require forfeiture where the specified offense did not occur at the public employee’s actual place of employment.”

Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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