TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- March 24, 2011 --
The chairman of the State Board of Education has resigned in protest of Education Commissioner Eric Smith's forced ouster by Gov. Rick Scott.
The remaining board members, meanwhile, held an emergency
meeting Thursday to launch a national search for a replacement.
Former chairman T. Willard Fair, a staunch ally of former Gov.
Jeb Bush, wrote in his letter of resignation that a national search
"flies in the face of reality that Governor Scott will choose his
Fair's term expired in December but he stayed on because Scott
has not yet appointed his successor.
Fair also blasted Scott for failing to consult with the board or
Smith before forcing his resignation. Smith and board members said
Scott finally called them Wednesday after Fair had resigned.