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Columbia County Observer

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DeSantis Rescinds 169 More of Scott’s Midnight Appointments: Total Nixed - 214

Governor Ron DeSantis
                                                  Image: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, Wikimedia Commons

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis has rescinded 169 mostly midnight appointments to 67 state boards and commissions issued by now-U.S. Sen. Rick Scott in the days before he left Tallahassee for Washington, D.C.

DeSantis' curt statement Friday announcing he was pulling back Scott’s appointments was the second round of nullifications issued by the new governor. In January, DeSantis rescinded 45 appointments to 21 boards and commissions.

DeSantis has now nixed 214 Scott delegates to more than 90 state boards and commissions, including 93 to 35 university and college boards.

DeSantis issued the nullifications and identified the rescinded appointees in a Friday letter to Senate President Bill Galvano requesting the names be withdrawn from the nomination confirmation process.

“I am writing to inform you that I have retracted the following appointments that require Senate confirmation,” his brief letter reads before listing the names of the newly unappointed.

DeSantis did not include any replacement nominees with the list of rescinded appointments, which must be submitted to the Senate Rules Committee before being presented on the floor for confirmation by the Senate.

Although the vast majority were appointed by Scott as he was leaving the Governor’s Mansion, some already have been confirmed and serving on boards and commissions for months.

The 214 rescinded appointments include prospective members on high-profile state boards such as the state Board of Education, Board of Medicine, Citrus Commission, Elections Commission, Building Commission, Construction Industry Licensing Board, Boxing Commission and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

They also include appointments to several relatively obscure state boards, such as the Florida Board of Auctioneers, Board of Employee Leasing Companies and the Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services.

Friday’s rescinded appointments include those named to 67 seats on 28 school/university boards of trustees. Collectively, DeSantis has now withdrawn 93 Scott selectees from 35 boards, including two from the state Board of Education and four from State Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s higher-education budget and policies.

DeSantis, who has pledged to invest in environmental and infrastructure upgrades for the state’s water systems, unseated nine Scott appointees to four of the state’s five water management districts. Overall, he has now rescinded 10 water management district board members.

DeSantis pulled 18 Scott appointments to 10 state medical boards Friday, raising the total to 24 from 12 overall, including four from the state Board of Medicine, three from the state Board of Nursing, three from the Board of Optometry and Pete Debelius-Enemark from the Florida Correctional Medical Authority.

Friday’s unseated appointments include 13 from four state professional and trades boards, including five from the Florida Building Commission and three each from the Board of Professional Engineers and Construction Licensing Board.

The rescinded appointments include 38 from 13 oversight panels with 31 from 11 being unseated Friday, including 17 from the Florida Commission on Community Service, otherwise called Volunteer Florida.

Among notable appointees identified by Florida Politics who were unseated Friday from the Volunteer Florida board is Emmy-winning producer Chucha Barber of Tallahassee; Meghan Collins, who served in several administrative and communications capacities in the Scott Administration; Autumn Karlinsky, wife of insurance lobbyist Fred Karlinsky; and Lys Rubin, wife of prominent Tallahassee lobbyist William Rubin.

Former State Attorney William “Willie” Meggs and former Republican state Sen. Garrett Richter had their appointments to the state Ethics Commission rescinded.

This piece appeared in the Watchdog.org and was reprinted by the Columbia County Observer with permission or license.

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