Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Chief of Agency for Health Care Administration resigns, may seek Cabinet post

TALLAHASSEE — One of Gov. Charlie Crist's top health care advisers abruptly resigned her state job Thursday, a strong signal that Republican Holly Benson plans to run for attorney general.

If, as expected, Benson seeks the Cabinet post, she will be challenging Jeff Kottkamp, the man Crist picked as his lieutenant governor in 2006.

Benson, secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration since February 2008, sent her employees an e-mail in which she announced her resignation. She cited "some opportunities that lie ahead, and I regret that because of those opportunities I will no longer be able to serve as your Secretary. I have submitted my resignation."

Benson, 38, a lawyer from Pensacola, served in the state House from 2000 to 2007, and played an instrumental in writing an overhaul of Florida's laws governing the Medicaid program and the operation of the state court system. She was initially hired by Crist to run the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

There are signs the Benson-Kottkamp race could intensify quickly. Kottkamp's political adviser, Rocky Pennington, last month sought all of Benson's official e-mail correspondence at AHCA, which is public record under state law. Such requests are common in campaigns as each side vacuums the record for damaging political information.

The agency told Pennington on Thursday he must pay an up-front fee of $20,000 before the agency will review all 48,000 e-mail messages, at a rate of one minute per e-mail. (Messages to health care officials could contain personal medical information that is exempt from disclosure.)

Kottkamp had underwhelming fundraising results last quarter, in which he raised $180,000, less than either of the two Democrats running for the post; state Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres and state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach.

Chief of Agency for Health Care Administration resigns, may seek Cabinet post 10/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 15, 2009 6:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Me too': Alyssa Milano urged assault victims to tweet in solidarity. The response was massive.

    Human Interest

    Actor Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on Sunday with an idea, suggested by a friend, she said.

    Within hours of Alyssa Milano’s tweet, tweets with the words “me too” began appearing. By 3 a.m. Monday, almost 200,000 metoo tweets were published by Twitter’s count.
  2. Tampa tax shelter schemer too fat for his prison term, attorney says

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A federal judge sentenced two Bay area men to prison terms last week for peddling an offshore tax shelter scheme that cost the IRS an estimated $10 million.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.

  3. Weinstein Co., overwhelmed by backlash, may be up for sale

    Corporate

    NEW YORK — The Weinstein Co., besieged by sexual harassment allegations against its namesake and co-founder, may be putting itself up for sale.

    Weinstein
  4. Trial begins in 2014 death of 19-month-old Tampa girl

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Even before his trial officially began, Deandre Gilmore had planted his gaze on the floor of Judge Samantha Ward's courtroom Monday, taking a deep breath and shifting in his seat as a pool of 60 potential jurors learned of his charges.

    Gilmore
  5. Rick Pitino officially fired by Louisville amid federal corruption probe

    College

    In an expected move, the University of Louisville Athletic Association's Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to fire men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. The decision came 19 days after Louisville acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe and …

    In this Oct. 20, 2016, file photo, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association on Monday officially fired Pitino, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe. [AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File]