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Sink comes under fire from legislators over SBA mess

No one directly named her, but Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink became one of those now coming under scrutiny by state lawmakers as they try to untangle the debacle over the Local Government Investment Pool and the State Board of Administration.

Both Rep. Susan Bucher, a Democrat, and Sen. Ronda Storms, a Republican, had pointed questions for SBA interim director Bob Milligan, as well as Sink's chief of staff Jim Cassidy, and Melinda Miquel, the chief inspector general for Crist who sits on the SBA audit committee. Bucher wanted to know why an audit released last March, and which questioned some of the SBA investment policies, had not been completely responded to by SBA officials. She also asked who's responsibility it was to keep an eye on the SBA while problems unfolded.

"Who was minding the store?" asked Bucher.

Storms was more blunt, noting that some elected officials had run for office on their "financial expertise" and yet had not begun to ask questions about what was happening in state-held investments until November. She said that was after members of the public had already begun to hear about the meltdown in the subprime mortgage market and after the "house was burning down."

"It's easy to say, 'oh yeah I sent a letter in November and I demanded a meeting about this in November, but where were you in July?'' asked Storms.

Tara Klimek, a spokeswoman for Sink, said the questions asked lawmakers are similar to ones that Sink has been asking since November and "underscored the need" for an "independent investigation" that will be undertaken by an outside auditor.