Hundreds of Gov. Scott's appointees are left in limbo
The regular legislative session ended with the Senate failing to confirm hundreds of Gov. Rick Scott's appointees to dozens of boards from the boxing commission to the Tampa Port Authority. Senate President Mike Haridopolos calls it an oversight. Was it? Senators spent hours listening to long-winded termed-out members make farewell speeches, which raises the possibility that the act of omission was deliberate, to give Scott a deft way to revoke appointments he now regrets making. A confirmation vote could have been done in a few minutes.
"I'll go back through and look and make sure that the individuals that I continue to believe in, that they're going to do the best job," said Scott, who has 45 days to reappoint the lame-duck appointees.
Scott appointments director Chester Spellman emailed the appointees, saying: "The governor is currently reviewing each appointment and our office will be in contact with you in the coming weeks once a decision has been reached. At this time it is not necessary to complete a new gubernatorial appointments questionnaire." (What is there to "review"? These were Scott's choices).
Among the appointees stranded in limbo are three of Scott's agency heads: Ken Detzner at State, Ken Tucker at Corrections and Charles Corley at Elder Affairs. Also stuck are Sally Bradshaw and Ashkay Desai (Board of Education); Beth Kigel of Lake Worth, Maurice Ferre of Miami and Manny Marono of Sweetwater (Florida Transportation Commission), and Carlos Alfonso of Tampa, one of six University of Florida trustees.
Eight holdover appointees from the 2011 session were confirmed by the Senate at the last minute, and would have been forced out if they weren't approved. They include Parole Commissioner Tena Pate and GOP bigwig Dr. Zachariah Zachariah, a Fort Lauderdale cardiologist serving on the Board of Medicine. Traditionally, the Senate votes on all appointees as a bloc in one vote. It takes a few minutes -- but it wasn't done.