Father of slain man wants Orange Co. Corrections head fired



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Rafael Zaldivar held his son's death certificate outside the Orange County courthouse Wednesday morning. He said he was demanding justice and demanding that the head of Orange County Corrections be fired.

Zaldivar is not just targeting the suspects in his son's murder, but he's holding the man in charge of the jail responsible as well.

Zaldivar made his case right after a hearing that strengthened the murder case against Bessman Okafor, the man accused of shooting and killing Zaldivar's son, Alex Zaldivar.

Zaldivar is furious that Okafor was not behind bars at the time of the murder for violating home confinement.

Wednesday, moments after a plea hearing, in which Zaldivar heard Okafor's co-defendant describe the cold-blooded slaying of Alex Zaldivar, he called for Tidwell's job.

"Explain to me this document. Explain it to me, to my family and to everyone in this community," Zaldivar said, pointing to the death certificate. "[Tidwell] should be fired. He should be prosecuted himself. Maybe we should put an ankle bracelet on all of them so we can monitor them if they can't monitor themselves," said Zaldivar.

Under Tidwell's watch, Channel 9 has reported numerous problems at the jail, including releasing the wrong inmates.

Several years ago, county leaders directed Public Safety Director Mike McCoy, now Altamonte Springs police chief, to keep tight rein on Tidwell.

Jacobs has cut the public safety director position, and now an administrator with no law enforcement training supervises Tidwell.

Jacobs did not say if that will change, but when asked by Belich if Jacobs would fire Tidwell, Jacobs wrote, "There are no sacred jobs in Orange County government. Once all of the facts are uncovered, I will take appropriate action to ensure everyone is held accountable."

Tidwell did not respond to Belich's questions about the possibility of his resignation.