Last Sunday Don Gaetz wrote an excellent editorial on the need for ethical reform for those in public service and those who benefit from having been in public service. The very next day 300 million from BP was deposited in the Triumph Corporation bank account. On that same day something else happened. Mr. Gaetz’s fellow senator, Joe Negron as president of the Senate appointed someone Speaker Richard Corcoran wanted to the Triumph board. And, Corcoran appointed someone Negron wanted to the Triumph Board. In a shallow almost silly effort to conceal who really made these appointments, Corcoran appointed Don Gaetz.
So, Don Gaetz sponsored and secured passage of a law that diverts 1.5 billion owed to the eight NW Florida counties to Triumph, a private Corporation he created when he was President of the Senate. Mr. Gaetz later effectively selected a majority of the five initial board members. This last session of the legislature the board was expanded to add one board member ostensibly to represent the interests of the smaller counties to the east and one more board member from Walton County alone, making seven board members. Mr. Gaetz was Mr. Negron’s Walton County selection. Escambia County doesn’t have a representative. Mr. Gaetz is now formally and effectively in charge of 1.5 billion that will be expended by Triumph.