MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has rescinded a job offer made to psychologist after questions were raised about his performance in running Florida’s sex predator program.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Daniel Montaldi had resigned from his Florida post six months ago because he was seen as too sympathetic to offenders.
He was hired in Wisconsin to evaluate sex offenders at the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston and recommend to court officials which ones should be released. But Gov. Scott Walker told reporters Wednesday that he was not happy with the choice.
“I wasn’t pleased with it. It’s a civil service hire so … the last two days we’ve been looking at what legal means we have to try to seek an alternative there,” Walker said. “My hope is we’ll have an answer by the end of today to do that.”
Department of Health Services spokeswoman Stephanie Smiley said late Wednesday that the verbal offer of employment to Montaldi had been withdrawn. She said he had not received any pay from the state.
“The department will continue to protect the public by operating the program with existing resources as it has during this vacancy. Next steps for recruitment of this position have yet to be determined,” Smiley said.
Montaldi did not respond to phone messages left by the newspaper for comment.
The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel found the number of potential predators identified by the state dropped by more than 50 percent under Montaldi’s leadership. It also uncovered an essay in which he said he believes sex offenders are “statistically unlikely to reoffend.”
“This is a guy who has a catch-and-release approach to violent sexual predators,” Florida state Rep. Matt Gaetz said this week. “Mr. Montaldi is a bad egg. We’re just glad he’s out of Florida.”
Gaetz said Montaldi resigned as he was about to be called before the Criminal Justice Subcommittee to address recent failures in that state’s sex offender program.