State Rep. Chris Sprowls faces heat from opponent after leaving State Attorney’s Office
State Rep. Chris Sprowls ended his seven-year stint with the State Attorney's Office earlier this month to practice civil law with Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, a Pittsburgh-based law firm with an office in Tampa.
He said he made the change because it was "a good opportunity to develop professional skills in the civil arena," and do work much different than he did under State Attorney Bernie McCabe.
"McCabe is like a second father to me, and I knew if I was ever going to go into civil practice, it would be with someone who could provide that kind of mentorship," Sprowls said, adding that he thinks he has found that in the firm's Florida chairwoman Rhea F. Law. "I picked this firm for the same reason I picked the State Attorney's Office — because of individual relationships."
Bernie Fensterwald, Sprowls' opponent in the race for the House District 65 seat, said in a Wednesday press release that "by making this move, Sprowls abandons any pretense that he is working in the interest of the public." He said the shift proves Sprowls, who is lined up to be the future House speaker, has taken his focus off constituents and placed it on climbing the political ladder.
"Although he has only served the residents of District 65 for two years, he is ready to leave us behind as he seeks to move upwards in Florida politics and beyond," Fensterwald said. "My only reason for seeking to represent the voters of District 65 is public service... I have no ambition beyond that."
Sprowls said he started with the firm on July 12 and his focus will be business litigation.