In response to allegations that Gerald Bailey's resignation from the top job in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was both forced and politically motivated by the governor's office, House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford's reaction is clear but measured:
"What's been slowly coming out is concerning, obviously" Pafford told the Times/Herald on Monday.
Pafford said he would likely have a more complete statement later this week, as the Legislature returns to Tallahassee for committee meetings but said this is the kind of situation he's heard of happening before.
"There's always been hints of this type of thing for years," he said.
At issue in Bailey's removal from the job is what role was played by the other cabinet officials, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
They, together with Gov. Rick Scott, have oversight of FDLE. It appears Bailey was asked to resign by members of Scott's staff.
The other cabinet officials' versions of the story remain unclear: While they initially held to a similar line of comment -- that they respected Bailey and that he resigned -- all three had by last Thursday expressed their own concern about the behind-the-scenes processes that led to Bailey leaving office.
When asked about how he would have handled the situation if he had a seat on cabinet, Pafford said he thought the officials should have been made aware of any details about how and why Bailey resigned. But, he was sure to say, he isn't in the same situation.
"You want to be made aware of certain things," he said. "That's part of the gig. There are only three people doing that other than the governor, so you would hope that you would have the information, that it would be provided."
What is clear, Pafford said, is this:
"I think there's a lot more questions right now than answers, and I guess that will kind of unravel, and I'm sure there'll be a story to tell."