Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bondi, Putnam and Atwater Turn on Scott after initially sitting on their hands

Bondi, Putnam and Atwater are now pleading ignorance.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam [initially] followed along like sheep, praising Bailey, asking no questions and voting unanimously for his replacement. Only after Bailey said the governor lied by calling his abrupt departure voluntary did the Cabinet members perk up, plead ignorance and pronounce themselves dissatisfied.
The Tampa Bay Times continues:
The former FDLE commissioner said Scott staff members improperly asked him to discuss the governor's political positions, use the FDLE to ferry campaign workers, and delete emails to his state computer that sought campaign contributions (which should be a public records violation). Bailey said he refused, and he was out.

But Bailey's most serious allegation is that Scott's former chief of staff pressured him to falsely name an Orange County court clerk the target of a criminal investigation after two prison inmates used forged court documents to escape in 2013. Bailey said he refused and was criticized by Scott's staff. The governor's office says this allegation is untrue, but the Cabinet and the Legislature should question Scott, Bailey and the governor's staff in a public setting.

Only now, with the heat on, are FlaGOP
Cabinet members are starting to assert themselves. Putnam was the first to express his unhappiness, and now Atwater and Bondi have called for a public discussion about the FDLE situation at the Feb. 5 meeting of the governor and Cabinet. Scott has doubled down, saying he also wants to replace three heads of agencies that report to the governor and Cabinet — including state Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.
"Editorial: Florida Cabinet should stand up to Gov. Rick Scott."

See also "Controversy grows over FDLE chief's exit," "FDLE chief's ouster could force changes in Cabinet hiring of leaders" and "Officials in Gov. Scott’s cross-hairs remain tight-lipped."