Florida Gov. Rick Scott's chief-of-staff, Steve MacNamara, resigned Saturday after information came to light that he might have engaged in unethical behavior in government contracting. MacNamara said he is resigning because the media coverage is hurting his office's ability to get things done. The big question to be asked now is how much did Rick Scott know about this and when did he know it?
Gov. Rick Scott’s embattled chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, announced Saturday he would resign after a week of blistering media coverage detailing his favoritism in hiring, contracting and micro-managing of state agencies.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor serving you, but the recent media attention I have been receiving has begun to interfere with the day-to-day operations of this office,” the longtime Tallahassee political veteran wrote, setting July 1 has his resignation date.
MacNamara’s troubles began when the AP reported MacNamara had helped steer a $400,000 no-bid contract to a friend who chaired a task force charged with rooting out government waste. A series of stories in the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times over the last week detailed another $5.5 million no-bid contract he helped steer to the business partner of a close friend, and an ethics complaint was filed over his use of state employees to help prepare his resume for a Montana academic job opening.
MacNamara, a tenured Florida State professor, former lobbyist and past chief to a House speaker and Senate president, was brought on as a voice of experience and insider savvy last summer — a move to help the political neophyte governor steady his relations with legislators and salvage his abysmal poll ratings.
In his letter, MacNamara praised Scott’s jobs record, and efforts to reduce state debt and reform regional workforce boards, writing he felt he had helped Floridians “begin to know the real Rick Scott — a man who listens to them, tries to understand their issues and concerns, and works diligently to help solve their problems.”
Scott said in a press release, ”I’m grateful for Steve’s invaluable assistance in helping advance my agenda to strengthen education, create jobs, and lower the cost of living for Floridians.
“Over the past 10 months, thanks to his expertise and guidance, we added $1 billion for education, we passed a job creation and economic development package, we passed accident fraud reform, and thanks to him, we implemented many positive changes to the way the State of Florida does business,” Scott said.
“Our openness and transparency has been praised as ground breaking. I believe Steve has had a tremendous impact me and Ann as well as my administration and our state. I respect his efforts and ideas. I have a great deal of confidence in his ability to assist me and my staff through the upcoming weeks as we transition to a new chief of staff. Ann and I look forward to continue building our friendship with Steve and his wife, Liberty.”
The only people that portray Scott and company's openness and transparency as 'ground breaking' are people who work for Scott.