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Crist boots Jeb's picks from universities board

Gov. Charlie Crist is shaking up the board that oversees Florida universities, replacing the current and former chairs plus two other members --  all of them originally appointed by of former Gov. Jeb Bush. He replaced them with a who's who of RPOF allies and donors.

Gone are former chairwoman Carolyn Roberts of Ocala and current chair Sheila McDeviit of St. Petersburg. Also ousted were business John Dasburg and Zachariah P. Zachariah, a Fort Lauderdale cardiologist who donates generously to the Bush family and is under S.E.C. scrutiny for alleged insider trading.

Crist did reappoint Ava Parker, the board's vice chairwoman. Crist, who attended today's BOG meeting in Tampa to unveil his higher ed budget, named Parker plus five new members including his higher education advisor Dean Colson and Daytona Beach developer Morteza “Mori” Hosseini, a frequent donor and member of the Florida Council of 100.

The other new appointments:

  • Realtor Richard A. Beard III, 66, of Tampa, a longtime member of the Florida Council of 100 and is the founding chairman of the USF Board of Trustees.
  • Patricia Frost, 72, of Miami Beach, a longtime teacher and principal in the Miami-Dade County public schools. She is currently a trustee at Florida International University.
  • John Rood, 54, of Jacksonville, current finance chairman of the RPOF. He is chairman of the Vestcor Companies and former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas. He was vice chair, chairman and commissioner of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission from 1999 to 2004.