Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sells state planes, fulfilling campaign promise

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday authorized the sale of two state airplanes to out-of-state bidders for a total of nearly $3.7 million, fulfilling a campaign promise.

The two aircraft, a leased 2003 Cessna Citation Bravo and a smaller, state-owned 2000 King Air, transported governors, Cabinet members, key legislators and other top officials and in some cases family members, resulting in a string of controversies.

As a candidate last year, Scott vowed that if elected he would ditch the two aircraft as a waste of taxpayers' money, and he ordered them sold the day he took office, Jan. 4. The wealthy governor owns his own jet to fly him on official business.

Scott said the sale will net the state a savings this year of more than $560,000, while eliminating annual operating and leasing costs of $2.4 million. But as the state still owes $3.4 million in lease payments on the Cessna, combined profit on the sales will be modest.

A Mexican-American oil-field services firm, Transportes Internacionales Tamaulipecos, bid $1.9 million for the Cessna jet, and the nine-passenger King Air prop plane brought a bid of $1.77 million from JNC Aircraft Sales of Washington, D.C.

"Burdening taxpayers with these ongoing expenses is irresponsible and not a core function for government to meet the state's critical needs," Scott said in a statement Friday.

Selling the planes also has eliminated 11 full-time jobs of pilots and support personnel.

The Department of Management Services said that once the successful bidders wire the money to the state, they can take possession of the planes.

Scott has continued to cite the sale of the planes to friendly audiences, most recently at a tea party rally Monday in Eustis where he presented his budget recommendations.

Then-Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, then-Attorney General Bill McCollum and then-Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink all faced criticism last year in statewide political campaigns for their extensive use of the planes. Ethics complaints against all three officials were dismissed.

Information from the News Service of Florida was used in this report. Steve Bousquet can be reached at bousquet@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sells state planes, fulfilling campaign promise 02/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 11, 2011 10:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle