Why did the Florida Board of Education need three new members?
Gov. Rick Scott was only supposed to have two seats to fill on the Florida Board of Education. Roberto Martinez, a Coral Gables lawyer first named to the board by Jeb Bush, had served two terms and wasn't eligible for a third. And John Padget, a Keys investor and former superintendent, had come to the end of his first term.
But when the appointments list came out late Thursday, it had three names on it. What happened?
Dr. Akshay Desai, the St. Petersburg health care executive and leading GOP bundler, had quietly resigned his post two days earlier. He told the Gradebook that he needed to devote 100 percent of his time to "current business challenges." His company, Universal Health Care, recently let go 100 employees after missing its sales target. It also received poor ratings from Medicare.
In his resignation letter (attached below), Desai called it a privilege to serve for the past five years. "I'm so very proud of what we've accomplished and I'm certain the future of our education system is in great hands," he wrote.
John Colon, an investment officer with Wells Fargo Advisors, will serve the remainder of Desai's term. Colon, a member of the Florida Black Business Investment Board, is vice chairman of the Sarasota Housing Committee.