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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Interim emergency management head to leave



The Buzz is, interim state emergency management director Ruben Almaguer will resign his post later today, marking the first announced departure of 2010 from the Gov. Charlie Crist administration. (Dale Brill, head of the Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, announced last month that he's heading to the Florida Chamber Foundation, starting today.)

Almaguer has been interim director since May, when Crist moved him up from the No. 2 deputy director spot to fill in for longtime emergency management leader Craig Fugate, a Jeb Bush appointee who now serves as head of FEMA under President Obama.

“Ruben has been a strong team member within Florida’s emergency response team for more than two years,” Governor Crist said.  “His vast experience responding to both domestic and international disasters qualifies him to step into the leadership position.”

The governor's office confirmed to the Times/Herald that Almaguer will resign, but the reason for his leaving is unclear and he has not yet submitted an official resignation letter. A source says he was forced to resign amid allegations - not yet substantiated - of misconduct and improper spending.

No word yet on who will fill in for Almaguer, a former high-ranking county emergency management official in Miami-Dade. The deputy director for emergency management under Almaguer is now David Halstead. Six months to go until the 2010 hurricane season.

Here are several documents inc. his resignation later and an employee complaint: Download AlmaguerResponse to Allegations

Download Almagueremployee letter

Download Almaguerresign

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:12pm]


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