Enterprise Florida CEO Gray Swoope, head of Gov. Rick Scott's business-recruitment efforts, received a $120,000 bonus Thursday, topping the $70,000 Swoope received the past two years. The Enterprise Florida board of directors approved the latest bonus for Swoope, whose base salary was increased $45,000, to $275,000, last October, according to the News Service of Florida.
The package is part of up to $765,000 in bonus compensation that will be divided among staffers, according to Enterprise Florida records. The bonuses are for meeting 97 percent on a list of 52 objectives for the year, said Alan Becker of the board's finance and compensation committee. Enterprise Florida estimates it has created 36,207 jobs in the past year, 44 percent over a year earlier, while capital investments in Florida have grown 41 percent in the same time.
Integrity Florida executive director Dan Krassner, whose Tallahassee watchdog group has been one of the biggest critics of Enterprise Florida, questioned the awarding of the bonuses. "Integrity Florida has documented various pay-to-play practices at Enterprise Florida where corporations pay $50,000 for a seat on the board of directors, then many of them receive vendor contracts and tax incentive deals negotiated by the agency," Krassner said.