Secretary of Department of Children and Families Bob Butterworth announced his resignation effective Aug. 15 this morning at a press conference with the governor.
Gov. Charlie Crist said it was "with mixed emotions'' that he accepted the resignation of Butterworth, Florida's former attorney general and one of two Democrats holding agency secretary jobs in Crist's administration. Crist said Butterworth told him he would serve for 18 months when he took the job and Crist said "I squeezed another month out of him."
"This department has never had better leadership," Crist said, as Butterworth stood at his side. He described Butterworth as "the longest serving attorney general'' in Florida history and someone whose commitment to public service was unwavering. "It's probably the toughest job in government. It's probably why some people think I appointed a Democrat....General Butterworth cares deeply about the people."
Butterworth thanked Crist "for giving me this opportunity. He described it as "the greatest job" and one in which he believes "we have accomplished a lot under your tenure, governor...with the greatest leadership team." He said he hopes DCF will continue to strive to be "the best agency of our kind in our country."
Crist said he has no plans yet for a replacement.
Butterworth touted the accomplishments, including the fact that there are now 20 percent fewer kids in foster care than when he arrived.
"I did not have one idea," Butterworth said. "Every idea we have done came from this team...to make sure we can make children of this state safe...You can never say mission accomplished, because you can never have every child safe but you can say keep it going."