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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Broke two years ago, Speaker-to-be Dorworth won't explain new wealth

23

October

Scott Maxwell on the man slated to be Florida House Speaker in 2014: Two years ago, State Rep. Chris Dorworth was in a heap of financial trouble.

His Lake Mary mansion was facing foreclosure. And aside from the stuff in his house, his only other assets were $40,000 in cash dorworth.jpgand a Chrysler Pacifica.

His sole income — a legislative salary of $2,600 a month — wasn't nearly enough to cover his monthly mortgage payments of about $10,000. Nor had he been able to satisfy a $1.35 million legal judgment against him from a failed business venture.

In short: Things were very bleak for the Republican legislator.

But the next year, things got much better for Dorworth.

Early in 2010, his GOP peers voted for him to become a future speaker of the House — widely viewed as the second-most-powerful position in the state after the governor.

And, according to recently filed papers, Dorworth went from having hardly any assets in 2009 to having a big one: a $713,000 stake in an out-of-state corporation that paid him $72,000 cash — in 2010.

How did he come into the money? Well, Dorworth won't say.

And that's troubling — especially because a trail of records reveals that his newly listed company and income have ties to other public officials and developments across Central Florida.

Full column here

[Last modified: Sunday, October 23, 2011 2:34pm]

    

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