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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Cousin FL lawmakers might wind up in court

18

January

Two Florida legislators, grandsons of legendary Florida citrus baron Ben Hill Griffin Jr., may end up in court as a result of a board vote taken this morning.

Jdalex Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, was reportedly elected to replace his cousin, state Rep. Baxter Troutman, on the board of Alico Inc., a public company controlled by Griffin's descendants.

Alexander and Troutman, R-Winter Haven, are Griffin's grandsons. Alexander, a Republican from Lake Wales who used to hold Baxter's seat in the House, joins his father (Alico's chief executive) and brother-in-law on the nine-member Alico board.

Both Alexanders want to develop Alico's 136,000 acres, which are now largely agricultural. Troutman has urged restraint in changing direction at one of the state's largest landowners.

Troutman "I'm very disappointed,'' said Troutman Friday, adding he expects to challenge the board vote in court. "It clearly shows a one-sided vision to this business in the future."

-- Times Staff writer Kris Hundley

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:16pm]

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