Senate President Don Gaetz told reporters Tuesday that Hunting Deutsch, the governor's new chief of the Department of Economic Opportunity, made the right call when he announced today he would resign from the post. The online web site The Current reported he had accepted unemployment benefits before taking the job and while he was on a trip to Europe, but didn't disclose that to the governor.
"Mr. Deutsch made the right decision in resigning and he made the wrong decision -- I think it was bad form for him to seek unemployment while he was off on a trip to Europe,'' Gaetz said. "We've got people in Florida who are really hurting, for whom unemployment checks make the difference between staying in their home and having groceries on their table or not.
"I think those of us in public life should have a higher standard in performance. I think Mr. Deutsch made the right decision for himself; the right decision for the governor."
Deutsch's resignation was the second time in less than a year that the governor's head of his economic development agency resigned. The governor's first head of the agency, Doug Darling, resigned in January under pressure from the governor's former chief of staff, Steve MacNamara.
Darling resigned four days after sending MacNamara a critical note complaining of excessive travel expenses from film commissioner Shari Kerrigan, whom MacNamara had recruited. He cited personal reasons for his resignation.
Scott is in the midst of the governor's four-day trade mission in Bogota, Colombia.