During a Friday afternoon news conference in Winter Park, reporters continued to push Gov. Rick Scott to answer questions that he’s been dodging for a week about why he ousted Gerald Bailey from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the allegations that Bailey has made since then.
And for the second time Friday, Scott avoided answering most of the questions.
“This is by far the most hostile I’ve seen any interaction between Scott and the media,” said Jason Garcia, a Florida Trend editor who attended the Winter Park news conference.
Here’s Garcia’s transcript of the Q & A:
Question: Are you willing to either call for or accept an outside investigation into the ouster of FDLE Commissioner Bailey?
Scott: “Here are the facts: Gerry Bailey was eligible for retirement. My belief is, in all your agencies in government, you ought to be looking for new talent all the time, looking for new ideas. He agreed to step down. Then a new commissioner was approved by all the Cabinet. Then after that, he decided to make attacks. It’s unfair to the individuals that work at FDLE. They do a great job. It’s also unfair to the new commissioner, Rick Swearingen, who also does a great job.”
Question: Will you just tell us, yes or no, did you tell FDLE to target Colleen Reilly or say that it was targeting Colleen Reilly? Just answer yes or no. Why dance around the question?
Scott: Sure. My press office put out a frequently asked questions yesterday. So you can call them.
Question: Will you accept an outside investigation?
Scott: If there’s an investigation, I’ll work with them.
(There was a second media availability as Scott was leaving.)
Question: (Inaudible, but it was about Reilly.)
Scott: The questions have all been answered in the frequently asked questions. So you should call the press office.
Question: Why don’t you answer it now?
Scott: Go to what the press office put out.
Question: It’s not answered in the release --
Scott: Is that all you have? See you guys. (Scott pushes through TV cameras and into a waiting car.)
The "frequently asked questions" that Scott was referring to was released by his office on Thursday. As one of the reporters implied, it did not answer many questions about Bailey's ouster.
So the public still awaits a full account...