The legislative session ended March 9 with the Senate dropping the ball and failing to confirm hundreds of Gov. Rick Scott's appointees to dozens of boards, from the state boxing commission to the Tampa Port Authority. Senate President Mike Haridopolos calls it an oversight. Was it? Senators frittered away hours listening to long-winded termed-out members give farewell speeches, and speculation is rampant that it was done on purpose, to give Scott a deft way to revoke appointments he now regrets making. But who?
Within 45 days, Scott must reappoint the lame-duck appointees. We will be watching closely to see which appointees are replaced.
Scott's appointments director, Chester Spellman, emailed all of the appointees, saying: "The governor is currently reviewing each appointment and our office will be in contact with you in the coming weeks once a decision has been reached. At this time it is not necessary to complete a new gubernatorial appointments questionnaire." (What is there to "review"? These were Scott's choices).
Among the appointees stranded in limbo are three of Scott's agency secretaries: Ken Detzner at State, Ken Tucker at Corrections and Charles Corley at Elder Affairs. Also stuck are these big names: Sally Bradshaw and Ashkay Desai (Board of Education); Beth Kigel of Lake Worth, Maurice Ferre of Miami and Manny Marono of Sweetwater (Florida Transportation Commission) and Carlos Alfonso of Tampa, one of six University of Florida trustees.
Eight holdover appointees from the 2011 session were confirmed by the Senate at the last minute, and would have been forced to resign if they weren't approved. They included Parole Commissioner Tena Pate and GOP bigwig Zachariah Zachariah, a Fort Lauderdale cardiologist serving on the Board of Medicine.