The Orlando Sentinel reported this afternoon (story HERE) that State Attorney Jeff Ashton has told the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority to delay the hiring of their next designated Executive Director and former State Representative Steve Precourt.
Precourt was voted in by the Authority last week in a controversial 3 to 2 vote. He then resigned from his State House 44 seat setting up a special election for the Windermere seat.
There were questions over Precourt’s qualifications and communications that may have taken place between board members that may have violated the State’s Sunshine laws that prohibit discussing political matters in private.
Ashton cites “lack of candor and questionable lapses in memory” by some of the witnesses as reasons to delay the hire. He’s been investigating the board’s activities for several months.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was a vocal opponent of the decision to hire Precourt and said the board would be “taking a step back” in selecting the termed out State Representative. He also didn’t meet the minimum qualifications for the post.
The Expressway Authority handles the expenditures of your toll money.
This move by Ashton is not a complete surprise but raises two very big questions local Politicos will be asking.
Why didn’t Ashton come to this decision before the board voted to select Precourt? Many believe that Ashton is trying to do too much at once in the State Attorney Office. The former Casey Anthony Prosecutor has been trying cases, standing up a Veterans Court, as well as other duties in the massive office.
If Precourt is denied, what will he do next? He will be on the outside looking in and would have to review all of his other political options, which could include entering another race this year.