TAMPA BAY, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott has started interviewing candidates for his six Board of Trustee appointments at the newly-created Florida Polytechnic University.
The 10 News Investigators learned the governor spent 70 minutes on Wednesday, June 27 interviewing seven applicants, according to documents obtained through public records requests.
Among the candidates considered are Ann Duncan, who served on the Florida Board of Governors until this year, and Lakeland businessman Brian Philpot, who, after a 10 News Investigation, admitted he failed to disclose on his application that his company had more than $100,000 in contracts with USF Polytechnic.
Philpot, 40, is a close ally of State Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, while Duncan contributed to the controversial legislator's 2008 re-election campaign. Alexander was the driving force behind creating the new university in Lakeland.
Notes taken by Gov. Scott during the interview noted that Duncan, 46, of Tarpon Springs, served as president of the Vertical Integration company. He also noted her involvement with Florida Tax Watch, the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, and USF.
Scott's notes on Philpot mention his politically-connected references, including Publix Vice Chairman Barney Barnett, former House Speaker Dean Cannon's Chief of Staff Mathew Bahl, and State Rep. Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland.
None of the governor's notes mentioned Alexander.
Scott also interviewed and took notes on:
- Scott Hammock, 46, a Naples resident and CEO at the Prolexic company.
- Jim Abrahamson, 79, a Lake Wales resident who served in the Air Force as well as as an astronaut for NASA.
- Mark Bostick, 58, another Lake Wales resident who is the president of Comcar Industries and listed Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam, Sheriff Grady Judd, and Barney Barnett as his references.
- Robert Gidel, 60, a loyal Republican donor from Windermere who was also appointed by Gov. Scott to the board of Workforce Florida in 2011.
- Kevin Hyman, 62, a Winter Haven resident and vice president at Brighthouse Networks, who also serves on the Enterprise Florida board.
The Governor's office has not indicated when Scott may make his appointments. The Board of Governors is also vetting its list of candidates for five trustee appointments, but its staff was not able to immediately provide 10 News with the requested documents
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:
6/27/12 - JD Alexander's wife discussing employment opportunities at Fla. Poly
6/22/12 - Construction continues after problems worked out
6/18/12 - JD Alexander's employee pulls out of trustee search after investigation
6/11/12 - Trustee hopefuls have questionable ties & lies
5/31/12 - Florida Poly gets booster club; JD Alexander gets gritty
5/23/12 - Board of Governors, USF negotiate Poly split
4/19/12 - 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
2/27/12 - Alexander actions have some asking why BOG exists
2/22/12 - JD Alexander: from USF cheerleader to USF critic
2/20/12 - College student warned of Alexander revenge
2/16/12 - Gov. Scott tells 10 News he's no fan of Poly bill
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 eventual independence
11/7/11 - USF-Poly spends thousands on Star Wars statues
11/3/11 - JD Alexander's bully pulpit
Find 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky on Facebook or follow his updates on Twitter. Send your story tips to email@example.com.