Latest Scandal at Ag Department Is Bad News For Adam Putnam’s Gubernatorial Ambitions
Today, The Tampa Bay Times reported that Adam Putnam’s refusal to settle a lawsuit brought by nearly 12,000 property owners is costing taxpayers $2,199 each day — and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Last week, a Lee County Judge said in a ruling that Putnam’s refusal to pay the funds risked putting him in contempt of court — and that the Agriculture Commissioner was essentially lying about his department’s refusal to honor the rights of Florida property owners.
After nearly 15 years of litigation (Putnam has been Agriculture Commissioner for nearly half of that period), the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services owes homeowners nearly $17 million.
“Florida taxpayers are literally paying the price for Adam Putnam’s incompetence,” said FDP spokesperson Kevin Donohoe. “Putnam has a long record of putting his own political ambitions above what’s right for the people of Florida. Why would Floridians send Putnam to the governor’s mansion when he can’t even manage the Department of Agriculture?”
Putnam’s tenure at the Department of Agriculture has been marked by scandal after scandal. Putnam has consistently mismanaged the state’s conceal carry program — and at one point even allowed hackers to gain access to thousands of records. And last year, Putnam came under fire for removing health inspection information from the department’s website after an investigation revealed Publix – a major campaign donor – had several locations which failed their most recent health inspections.
Tampa Bay Times: Judge: Adam Putnam’s refusal to pay citrus tree owners ‘contrary to oath he took’
Tampa Bay Times: Adam Putnam’s bid for Florida governor complicated by citrus industry woes
Tampa Bay Times: Florida pays $437,000 in dispute over skim milk
WTSP: Dept. of Agriculture warns conceal weapons permit holders of data breach
ABC Action News: Dirty Dining: Grocery store inspections lack grades following investigation into Publix