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Haridopolos sacks two more Senate staff members

Two more long-time directors of Senate committees have lost their jobs, bringing to 12 the number of high-level staffers sent packing by incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne. His spokesman says more firings are coming, too.

The latest to be dismissed are Wayne Rubinas, staff director of the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee, and Jeff Poole, director of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Haridopolos' new chief of staff, Stephen MacNamara, delivered the news late last week, telling both men their jobs were being eliminated. Their replacements, yet to be named, will double up by serving as administrative heads of two committees.

"He was told his services were no longer needed," Senate spokesman David Bishop said of Rubinas' termination. "He was told that his job would be ending and he was given an opportunity to resign. Rubinas was hired a decade ago by then-Senate President John McKay of Bradenton.

Although a dozen staffers have been fired, Haridopolos has already hired eight people at a combined annual salary of $755,000. They include MacNamara, who earns $175,000 as chief of staff and general counsel; Andy Bardos, special counsel to Haridopolos and reapportionment counsel, at $150,000; former Public Service Commissioner Matt Carter, who earns $120,000 as staff director of the committee overseeing utilities; and Bishop, who earns $100,000 as director of communications and IT. 

Bishop's predecessor, Jaryn Emhof, who was a highly reliable and hard-working staff member, earned $49,000 a year.

- Steve Bousquet