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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Amid hiring impasse, insurance chief Kevin McCarty delays his departure



Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty told his bosses Wednesday that he will delay his resignation until 45 days after his successor is appointed.

McCarty hand-delivered a letter to Gov. Rick Scott and to all three Cabinet members expressing his willingness "to honor my commitment to facilitate a smooth transition as the 2016 hurricane season approaches."

Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater are deadlocked over a choice for McCarty's successor, and no official has proposed an alternative candidate for the critically important post of regulating the insurance industry.

McCarty's letter surfaced within hours of statements by Atwater that he would be "uncomfortable" if the search for McCarty's successor leaves the Office of Insurance Regulation without strong leadership during a hurricane season.

Asked by a reporter why state officials had not yet asked McCarty to delay his departure with the start of hurricane season on June 1, Atwater said: "That's a really good question ... If we don't have a candidate that we agree upon next week, do we have a broader discussion as to what we do at this point? ... I do think it would be important to have skilled talent that has been part of the Florida experience to be available to th eindustry and to us in the decision-making process as we go into the hurricane season."

Read McCarty's letter here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 7:11pm]


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