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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Linda South fires back over 'Taj Mahal' criticism



Linda South, head of the state agency responsible for construction of state buildings, held her tongue last week after Senate President-designate Mike Haridopolos called for her head.

He said South's "irresponsible oversight" has "clearly wasted millions of taxpayer dollars" in the construction of the new courthouse for the 1st District Court of Appeal.

But now South has answered. If there is blame to be laid beyond the judges who spent many hours lobbying lawmakers for the $48 million project, South said in an interview, it's at the feet of legislative leaders who chose to toss one last chunk of money — $5.5 million — at the project in 2008.

"I don't have the authority to fund any project," South said. "The judges and the Legislature sought and authorized funding for this, and the very bunch that authorized funding is pointing the finger at us."

Story here

[Last modified: Monday, October 18, 2010 7:31am]


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