Another day, another scandal for one of Rick Scott’s top hires. Scott’s chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, who recently found himself the center of controversy after getting caught committing academic fraud, is again making headlines for his crooked deeds.
As the Naples Daily News reported, Hollingsworth used his power and connections to line up a taxpayer-funded sweetheart deal for his former employer — a direct violation of Rick Scott’s own lobbying ban. The governor doubled down on his employee’s duplicity and supported the mega-deal.
Here are the facts, folks:
– The senior advisors to Rick Scott’s transition team signed a one-year lobbing ban. For most people, that ban lifted January 4, 2012.
– While inside the ban, Hollingsworth set up a meeting with Rick Scott and officials from All Aboard Florida.
– Hollingsworth’s advisory role to Rick Scott continued after he officially stopped advising Rick Scott, including ensuring High Speed Rail between Orlando and Tampa was killed — so it wouldn’t compete with All Aboard Florida.
Rick Scott’s top staffer clearly violated the letter and the spirit of the governor’s own lobbying ban. He claims there is a “fire wall” to protect taxpayers, but that letter could be as fictitious as the college degree he lied about for over a decade.
In Tampa and Orlando this week, how will Rick Scott explain to voters that they don’t have High Speed Rail because he put a sweetheart deal for his top staffer and wealthy special interests first?
How will he explain that this corrupt staffer still works for him?
Odds are he will plead the fifth, just like he always has.