In the wake of a scandal over sweetheart deals and questionable ethics, the chorus is growing for the removal of Department of Children and Families secretary Jerry Regier. Insiders say employees have lost confidence in Regier’s ability to lead, less than two years after he was brought in to try to turn the troubled agency around. But Jeb Bush continues to stand by his man.
Jerry Regier came to Florida to turn things around at the department of children and families. But now there’s a whole new crisis. Regier admitted earlier this month that lucrative state contracts went to his friends. The agency seems to be unraveling from the top down.
Regier fired two administrators over the contractor scandal, and now his chief of staff, Samara Kramer, says she was fired then rehired after she warned Regier not to mix business with pleasure.
Doug Martin is spokesman for the union that represents thousands of DCF employees. Martin says the whole mess reeks of business as usual, and Regier has to go.
Jeb Bush has continued to express confidence in Regier, just like he did in Regier’s embattled predecessor Kathleen Kearney. But just a few hours after that interview, Kearney was clearing out her desk.
The state inspector general’s office is in the process of auditing several DCF contracts with private providers to make sure they were properly awarded.