Secretary of State Kurt Browning announced his retirement ( his second retirement in as many years) in January 2012. It became effective in February. Browning, much written about in these pages, and in Rick Scott: Enemy of the State gave a meandering sotto voce speech to reporters in Tallahassee where he said it wasn't for political reasons but he wanted to be closer to his wife, and his son whose cancer was made public in 2009.
Browning soft-denied that the move was made so he could run for Pasco Schools Superintendent.
But, he filed his election paperwork for precisely that at the end of February. Our demands for information into election shenanigans, which Browning well may have known about, may have been somewhere in his decision tree.
Frank Farmer, Scott's Surgeon General resigned March 2012, saying he wants to spend more time with his wife as she recovers from breast cancer.
Doug Darling, key adviser and director of the State's Department of Economic Opportunity resigned in January 2011, six months into his job. This comes after the office released its first annual report which demonstrated for all who cared to read it, that those companies who had accepted the blood sweat and tears from teachers and students in the form of preferential tax treatment failed to follow through on their promises and actually create jobs. This of course opened up a whole can of worms called "what are they actually doing with the money?" and of course, likely as you've heard by now, no one seems to know.
Charles Trippe, Scott's general counsel, resigned yesterday March 6, 2012. Trippe, former General Counsel to CSX Transportation (railroad) has figured in heavily in several issues pertaining to the governor including but not limited to, Scott's handling of the decision to end high speed rail.
Jack Miles, director of the Department of Management Services resigned effective at the end of this month, taking his chief of staff, Brett Ryman with him. Miles is in charge of purchasing, materials, equipment and other services.
These join the roll of other walking wounded limping away smarting from the Rick Scott administration:
Press flak Brian Hughes, Departed December 2010.
Campaign Manager Suzie Wiles. Departed January 2011
The following is an excerpt from Rick Scott: Enemy of the State about Wiles.
"Suzie Wiles, Scott’s campaign manager during 2010.Wiles is a well-connected political strategist from Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville, who served as a mayoral aide to both John Delaney and John Payton in Jacksonville.
In January, Wiles was scooped up by the Jon Huntsman presidential campaign following the inauguration of the new governor.
Okay. She ran Scott’s campaign all throughout 2010, then she quits so soon after he’s elected to take on Huntsman? Huntsman, who wasn’t exactly being called a favorite of the GOP?
Okay. You jump from a ship that’s allegedly well afloat to one that’s obviously left port with some holes in it?
Perhaps she’s a victim of Post Traumatic Boss Syndrome (PTBS) from her experience with RS.
Then she departed Huntsman as well in June commenting only that “it was just time.”As all of us know, when you’ve worked for a tough boss who wore your ass out, the next place you work, you are absolutely not into taking any bullshit whatsoever. Call me a liar. "
Press flak and robo-caller Trey Stapleton Departed January 2011
Strategist Mary Anne Carter June 2011 –
The following is an excerpt from Rick Scott: Enemy of the State concering Carter
"Perhaps the biggest shocker to those on the outside Team Scott was Rick Scott’s policy adviser Mary Anne Carter who abruptly resigned, two days after she was featured in a complimentary piece in Miami Herald, touting her as one of the tough women-powerbrokers behind the scenes.[i]
The news came after Scott announced he was moving Senator Mike Haridopolos’s chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, to replace his own chief of staff, Mike Pendergast, who was being moved over to run the Department of Veterans Affairs.[ii]
Carter was variously described as Scott’s top policy advisor, his guru, and at least once, erroneously, his “chief of staff”.
Carter didn’t provide much in the way of reason for leaving other than a professed longing to get back to her family which is understandable.
She said in her complimentary resignation letter to Scott; “…state government is ultimately not for me…”[iii]
[i] “The Women Pushing Governor Scott’s Agenda” Miami Herald, June 19, 2011 http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/19/2273429/the-woman-pushing-gov-scotts-agenda.html
[ii] “Scott’s Top Policy Advisor Resigns Amid Shake-up” St Petersburg Times, June 22, 2011. http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/rick-scotts-top-policy-adviser-resigns-amid-shakeup/1176522
[iii] “Resignation Letter from Scott aide Mary Anne Carter” Tampa Bay online June 21, 2011 http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/news/story/resignation-letter-from-scott-aide-mary-anne-carter1/
Top Polster and adviser Tony Fabrizio Departed October 2011 to join the Rick Perry campaign. Repeating: the RICK PERRY campaign was preferable to staying with Scott. Fabrizio was a controversial figure to say the least for the GOP being openly gay and proud. He has been described as an inside man on policy.
The following is an excerpt from Rick Scott: Enemy of the State on Fabrizio:
"Tony Fabrizio, chief pollster and political strategist. Fabrizio of Brooklyn and Long Island, New York, is also considered a friend. He once warned Scott of state Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon, “these guys mean to castrate us! They are not our friends.”
Lobbyist Hayden Dempsey resigned in August 2011. The following is an excerpt from Rick Scott: Enemy of the State concerning Dempsey.
"Dempsey is quoted as needing to focus on raising his two daughters.[i]
Is it code-talk, this line “I need to focus on my family”? These people were all earning upwards of $150,000 per year. Some have kids in college or approaching that.
Does this logic sound truthful?
I only now discovered that I have been ignoring my family all these years. I mean, what was I even thinking taking a high paying, high stress, high profile job where I got my name in the paper every other day? I could have been working at SAM’s Club as a cashier!
Something doesn’t wash here.Of course some resignations seem to be forced by the executive, or his staff. And they don’t always end in tragedy for those who resign, only reappointment."
Ed Buss, Prison's Chief, resigned August 2011.
[i] “Florida Governor Rick Scott’s Top Lobbyist resigns” (AP) Aug. 4, 2011. http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/politics/21005015280371/
The following is an excerpt from Rick Scott: Enemy of the State, concerning Buss:
Recently MSNBC was filming at a Santa Rosa County Corrections for their series Lock-Up. But Rick Scott ousted the crew from the premises and voided their contract they had written for $100,000 under the blessing of State Corrections Secretary Ed Buss, who had been brought in by Scott, as former head of Indiana Corrections.
Scott said Buss had no authority to sign the deal. In the end, Scott signed the contract, and fired Buss, allowing the MSNBC crew to go back into the facility after a two day hiatus. At this writing we don’t know the entire story on either the firing, or the connection to Geo Group, but, there apparently is more to it than the MSNBC contract; namely Buss’s handling of the state’s prison privatization efforts.
State Senator Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland )[i] said that Buss was forced out because he wouldn’t keep quiet about the actual cost of privatizing prisons in 18 counties from Bradenton to Key West; namely some $25 million in overtime, sick leave etc. payouts that seem to conveniently escape everyone’s attentions when alleged cost-savings are touted as the reason for the entire privatization effort.
You can’t help but wonder if the state’s plan is simply to not pay the $25 million owed to the corrections officers and staff.
“Everything being done with regard to privatizing prisons is being done in secrecy. In private,” Dockery said in the article just previously referenced.
[i] “Dockery says Buss was punished for speaking up on privatizing prisons” The Buzz , From the Staff of the St. Petersburg Times Aug. 26. 2011 http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/dockery-says-buss-was-punished-speaking-privatizing-prisons
This list isn't complete. These are only some of the names.
I want you to hunker down with me by the fireside here, listening to the crickets and the hissing embers. Ask yourself, honestly now, what makes a person throw away a high paying job with plenty of perks and benefits, in the worst economy to hit this country since the Great Depression?
Ponder that question and then download my answers here.