The honeymoon seems to be over for Governor Rick Scott and his fellow Republicans this week. Scott is being accused of seriously unethical behavior by the former head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and some of the state’s top Republicans think the allegations deserve to be investigated.
The allegations came from Gerald Bailey, former commissioner of the FDLE, who resigned last month. Bailey has since come forward and said he did not resign from his position willingly, but was instead forced to resign by the governor after he refused to do his bidding.
Bailey has accused Governor Skeletor of the following things:
- The commissioner told Skeletor’s chief legal counsel, Pete Antonacci, that he was receiving solicitations to donate to The governor’s reelection campaign on his state computer. Bailey was told to,”just delete it.” An action that is illegal in Florida. State public records, including emails, are not to be deleted.
- The FDLE refused to transport campaign worker, Meghan Collins, to a campaign event.
- Skeletor’s campaign asked Bailey to participate in a conference call last June to discuss “the governor’s platform for the next four years.” Bailey refused, saying it was inappropriate for the FDLE to participate in partisan politics.
- In March 2014, the Republican Party, on Skeletor’s behalf, sent a check to the FDLE for $90,000 to cover the cost of transporting campaign. Workers in state vehicles. The FDLE refused and said it was inappropriate for the agency to accept money from a political party.
- Skeletor is also accused pressing the FDLE to intercede in a money laundering investigation of one of his donors.
Bailey is a 35-year veteran of law enforcement and was unanimously appointed to his position at the FDLE by Jeb Bush in 2006. Unlike other state agencies the Commissioner of the FDLE didn’t just report to Scott, he reported to three elected cabinet members as well: Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. It is supposed to ensure that they agency is apolitical.
Scott has told the media and other cabinet members that Bailey chose to resign and he was not forced, but Bailey has said that’s a lie:
I did not voluntarily do anything. If he said I resigned voluntarily, that is a lie. If he said that, he’s being totally untruthful.
He claims that Scott’s legal counsel came to his office on December 16 and told him to “retire or resign,” submit his letter, pack his stuff and be out of the office by 5 p.m.
Scott then hand-picked a replacement, Rick Swearingen, a 30-year FDLE veteran who has headed the Capitol police since 2013 and for three years before that oversaw the unit that protects the governor and his family.
Hmmmmm……smells of favoritism, doesn’t it? Easier to control someone you put there.
The Republican Cabinet members are now speaking out about the stinky situation and saying that it warrants an investigation. This may not seem like a big deal on the outside but these members have always been strong Scott supporters.
Attorney General Pam Bondi released the following statement:
…the recent process behind the appointment of a new FDLE Commissioner has raised serious questions, and those questions should be answered to ensure transparency and the public’s right to know. Since the last Cabinet meeting on January 13th, my office has been vigorously discussing how to do just that.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater also said that someone should look into the allegations.
This is pretty serious for Scott. If his staunchest supporters are backing away from him and issuing these kinda of statements he must really be up shit creek.
Bondi, Atwater, and Putnam are clearly distancing themselves so that Skeletor’s mud doesn’t get flung on them.
Florida Democrats, like myself, aren’t surprised. This is what happens when the slimiest, most corrupt, thief is elected to govern a state. We told Republicans he was shady, I guess they should have listened.
Watch Rick Scott deny, deny, deny below, via My Fox Tampa Bay:
FOX 13 News
Featured image via Fox 13 News