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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

House Democrats say finance director fired by Tant may deserve a 2nd chance



After voting to oust Rep. Darryl Rouson as Minority Leader-designate, House Democrats discussed another casualty of his short-lived tenure.

They want to know more about why Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant fired their finance director, Jeff Ryan. They stopped short of demanding he get his job back but made it clear that current Minority Leader Perry Thurston should ask questions and raise the issue.

The loud "aye" vote confirming that directive could be heard on the first floor where the media was assembled even though House Democrats were meeting behind closed doors on the second floor. The Times/Herald didn't learn the subject of this second, less contentious vote until later.

Tant fired Ryan and Chris Mitchell, who served as the political director for the House Democrats, earlier this month after discovering they helped Rouson create a special fundraising committee without her knowledge.

The existence of the secret committee caused Rouson to lose support and, ultimately, his designation as future Minority Leader.

[Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 11:12pm]


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