Despite accusations of ethical missteps, the clamor for a replacement continues to grow.
On July 15, DCF Secretary Jerry Regier fired two top deputies and admitted taking favors from contractors, at the time he vowed to stay on the job.
Regier said, "And I take full responsibility for my actions and uh they will not happen again."
But after buying tickets from vendors, and spending the night in a beach house of a contractor, Regier has lost the confidence of many in the social services field they say his conduct sends the wrong message.
Cecka Green of Voices for Florida’s Children, said, "He needs to really look inside and figure out what he needs to do to get that trust back because I think right now that trust has definitely been breached."
Regier has sent two memos to his employees, insisting he will stay on the job and has lived up to all ethical requirements, including paying his own way, but when asked about morale in the agency, few line workers would respond.
In a memo, Secretary Regier says articles that have been printed contain horrible distortions of truth, so we offered him the opportunity to set the records straight and he refused.
Perceptions are key when it comes to contracts. The agency reduced headquarters staff by 400 oversight positions last year at the same time it moved to increase outsourcing. In one memo, Regier vowed to have no contact with lobbyists or vendors until state ethics rules are clarified, but that vow has done little to restore confidence in his leadership.
Next week, Regier faces a test of his leadership at a two day summit of service providers in Tampa.