Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, sat down with the Herald/Times Wednesday to rebut elements of a series of articles about his tenure as the governor's top adviser and the contracts he signed when he was chief of staff in the Florida Senate.
MacNamara said that while the stream of stories may hasten his plans to leave the administration later this year, he is not leaving -- yet.
"This whole thing may just hurry my departure by a few months,'' he said.
Scott hired MacNamara in July 2011 to the $189,000-a-year job after a blistering first six months of low poll ratings and icy relationships with lawmakers. Even with his departure, MacNamara said, the governor is "going to keep pressuring people to cut budgets and make efficiencies and people are going to continue to think they’re being picked on.''
A Sunday story in the Herald/Times reported that current and former members of Scott's administration have accused MacNamara of being a heavy handed manager who controls who is hired and fired, influences which key contracts get advanced and installs people into government jobs who are loyal to him.
The Herald/Times reported that MacNamara also signed a $5.5 million no-bid contract with Anna Mattson of Spider Data Systems to create a web platform that will provide the public access to the legislature's budget process. Mattons, who developed the program, is a business partner with MacNamara's close friend, Jim Eaton.
MacNamara said he believes that people are complaining because the governor's attempts at efficiencies are making people mad.
"There’s hundreds of millions of dollars that’s not going to get renewed and they start throwing people under the bus,” he said.