A South Florida attorney has filed a complaint against the state, seeking a criminal investigation into the firing of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey. Bailey’s termination was also a topic of conversation during a media day at the Capitol Wednesday.
St. Petersburg Attorney Matthew Weidner is asking State Attorney Willie Meggs to investigate whether Bailey was “forced out” of the job by Governor Rick Scott. Weidner also wants Meggs to look into how much the rest of the cabinet members knew.
At the Capitol Wednesday, Attorney General Pan Bondi said she had no knowledge of the decision, until after it had happened. “Did I know that jerry bailey was going to be told he was fired and have his things packed up, his entire life as a career law enforcement officer, in a cardboard box and told to be out of the office before the end of the day? Absolutely not. Nor do I believe the governor knew it,” said Bondi.
Scott’s staffers reportedly told Bailey to leave. Barbara Petersen, President of the First Amendment Foundation says “If cabinet aides are being used as a conduit to relay information from one cabinet member to another that could very well be a violation of law. Case law would tell us that that’s a violation of law. You can’t create conduits.”
The cabinet includes Scott, Bondi, Chief financial officer Jeff Atwater and Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam. The group will meet next week and plans to discuss Bailey’s ouster.