Florida Conflicts of Interest

Sara Gonzalez, recently appointed by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to a lucrative state post, withdrew in the face of adverse publicity, the Miami Herald reports. ...
by | March 25, 2008

Sara Gonzalez, recently appointed by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to a lucrative state post, withdrew in the face of adverse publicity, the Miami Herald reports. The Herald broke the story about the appointment of Gonzalez, who is married to a top Crist aide:

Crist had been accused of favoritism in hiring Sara Gonzalez for a nearly $100,000-a-year job as the new chairwoman of the state commission that rules on state employee disputes and hears complaints against Florida's public employee unions. Gonzalez was the first nonattorney to hold the post in the panel's 33-year-history.

Gonzalez cited the "recent response" to her hiring in giving up the position. State Sen. Evelyn Lynn has no such qualms, the Daytona Beach News-Herald reports:

But in September, the Ormond Beach Republican also went to work for a university: Lynn received a $120,000 job from Florida State University to set up a reading research program in Volusia County.

Lynn helped craft the 2006 law that played a role in bringing the program to Daytona Beach Community College. In 2007, less than five months before Lynn started the job, lawmakers included $1 million in the state budget to help pay for it.

Lynn, who is chairwoman of the Senate Higher Education Appropriations Committee, said the job does not pose a conflict of interest with her Senate duties. She said she has a long background as an educator, including having a doctorate degree.

Update: Lynn has given up her university salary and will instead volunteer her time.

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