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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

MacNamara on chancellor job, ethics charge



Steve MacNamara's name came up last week as a candidate for the state university system chancellor job. The FSU associate professor of communications, and former chief of staff to then House Speaker John Thrasher, caught up with the Buzz from his sabbatical in Portland, Maine, saying he was "flattered" to be nominated.

"It looked like it may be an interesting fit this time," said MacNamara, 55, who was encouraged to apply the last time the job was open. "Certainly what they need is somebody to work with the Legislature and someone who understands academics."

MacNamara was Thrasher's chief of staff in 1999 and 2000 and still answers to an ethics charge he faced during that time. He was accused of lobbying for a private client while working in the speaker's office. After a two-year investigation, the Commission on Ethics dismissed the charge.

"I’m tired of dealing with that. It was seven years ago and the charges were dropped," MacNamara said. "I thought it was unfair. I spent my personal money trying to keep my name clear and clean."

MacNamara said he thinks it's "fundamentally unfair" that "everyone feels compelled to mention it."

"I guess if I had admitted to some sort of culpability ... it wouldn’t haunt me like that," MacNamara said. "The bottom line is, it happened seven years ago, case dismissed."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:35pm]


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