Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Beleaguered Finance chair for Fla GOP resigns



desai1.pngDr. Akshay "A.K." Desai has resigned as finance chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, amid turmoil at his insurance company and allegations by the state of " a pattern of mismanagement" and illegal financial conduct at Desai's St. Petersburg-based Universal Health Care.

"I was honored to be asked to be asked to be Finance Chair, and I'm proud of the work we've done together. I feel that I no longer have the proper amount of time to devote to such an important cause and so it's with regret that I must tender my resignation effective immediately as Finance Chair," Desai said in a Feb. 5 letter state GOP chairman Lenny Curry.

Universal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization Wednesday. More on the company's woes here.

On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott also appointed John A. Colon of University Park to replace Desai on the state Board of Education. Desai's term had not yet expired.

Desai became the state party's fundraising leader a year ago, succeeding Jacksonville developer John Rood, who took the post as another state party finance chairman, Harry Sargeant, engulfed in allegations of everything from war profiteering to illegal campaign donations.

Desai's recent vow to "do everything within my power to raise enough funds for Floridians to see the true character of Charlie Crist and to ensure he never sets foot in the Tallahassee house on Adams Street as a sitting governor again" presumably will take a back seat to cleaning up his own problems.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 10:49pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours