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Gov. Scott And FDLE Controversy

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Logo, fdle.state.fl.us

Maybe it shouldn’t seem like such a big deal, but when former Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner Gerald Bailey, a well-respected employee of the state, was kicked aside for a yes-person who also happened to be a personal assistant to the state’s first couple, it was a big deal. Especially a big deal when the governor and his whole cabinet square-danced over whether or not his firing was fair before realizing that there is no sense in arguing with Scott. What’s done is done!

But, as the Tampa Bay Times opined last week, that’s not really fair. Back in 2011, current St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, a former Democratic state representative, proposed a method via legislation that might allow voters to kick out the bad guys. Just last week, Progress Florida presented State Attorney Willie Meggs with no less than 10,000 petitions to do that, all to no effect.

“At first blush, it might seem Kriseman’s legislation was inspired by the election of a governor who as CEO of Columbia/HCA oversaw a company that had paid a then-record $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud,” Times columnist Daniel Ruth writes. “Scott’s invoking of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 75 times in an unrelated civil litigation case hardly boosted the new governor’s reputation for integrity.”

Four years later, down in the depths of yet another Tallahassee scandal without any popular recourse, it’s cold comfort to know that some things can never change.


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