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Florida Polytechnic Board of Trustee applicants have JD Alexander ties

7:17 PM, Jun 5, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA BAY, Fla.- It has no students, no campus, and no administration yet, but the new Florida Polytechnic is a step closer to having its first Board of Trustees.

Florida's Board of Governors (BOG) received 54 applications for the board, which it will review later this month.  And while the prestigious group includes former astronauts, local lawyers, and county commissioners, it also includes a number of potential candidates with potential conflicts of interest.

They include:

  • Thomas Cloud, a partner at law firm Gray Robinson, which was the firm representing the Williams Group.  The development group donated the land Florida Poly will be built on and still, controversially, controls it, while also owning significant property all around the future campus.
  • Ronald Clark, an attorney at Clark, Campbell, and Lancaster, which was the law firm that represented USF-Polytechnic until last month.
  • Joshua Brown & Charles Lewis, a pair of men who identified themselves as active, registered lobbyists.
    • UPDATE: Lewis has since told 10 News he has never been registered as a lobbyist and accidentally checked the wrong box on his application
  • John Fleming, the president of Phoenix Industries, a company owned by State Sen. JD Alexander's family.
  • John Hugh Shannon, a Lakeland lawyer whose references included Alexander's close ally, lobbyist Wayne Watters.

Last week, Alexander told 10 News that he had asked "about a handful" to apply for the new board.  The BOG will name five of the trustees, Governor Rick Scott will name six trustees, and the remaining two will come from an active faculty member and student once the school opens.

A BOG committee will nominate finalists for vetting, background checks, and consideration in time for the full board's June 19 meeting.  Once appointed, Board of Trustees members will make decisions for the new university until they have a chance to be confirmed by the Senate in early 2013.  

Previous Polytechnic Coverage:
5/31/12 - Florida Poly gets booster club; JD Alexander gets gritty
5/23/12 Board of Governors, USF negotiate Poly split
Governor signs SB1994, creates Fla. Poly University
3/5/12 -
USF deal struck, exclusive interview with Genshaft
2/28/12 -
Genshaft told Poly accreditation will take 2-4 years
 - Alexander actions have some asking why BOG exists
2/27/12 -
USF students continue #SaveUSF campaign
2/22/12 - JD Alexander: from USF cheerleader to USF critic
- College student warned of Alexander revenge
2/16/12 -
Gov. Scott tells 10 News he opposes unfair cuts
2/15/12 -
Budget cuts live, but ''divorce settlement'' brokered
2/14/12 -
10 News leading charge to #SaveUSF
2/14/12 - USF fears "devastating" 58% budget cuts
2/8/12 - JD Alexander pushes "backdoor" for Poly independence
12/20/11 - Genshaft dismisses USF-Poly chancellor
11/10/11 - BOG grants USF-Poly conditional independence
11/7/11 -
USF-Poly spends thousands on Star Wars statues
11/3/11 - JD Alexander's bully pulpit

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