Gov. wants review of college president salaries

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTOctober 13, 2012 

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott is asking his chief inspector general to review the contracts of the 28 presidents who serve in the state college system.

Scott made the request this week in the wake of reports that trustees at Florida State College at Jacksonville agreed to a $1.2 million severance package with the outgoing president.

The governor wants an investigation into how much taxpayers could owe due to employment contracts.

Scott, in a letter to Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel, noted another settlement with the president at Edison State College. The governor said that these troubling payouts deserve immediate attention to assess the liabilities and consequences to taxpayers.

The governor also asked Miquel to review five years' worth of expenses at the foundation that serves Florida State College at Jacksonville.

State College of Florida president Lars Hafner's contract entitles him to a $1.6 million payout if his term through 2016 is cut short. But it remains to be seen if changes in state statutes concerning severance pay might make that figure significantly less.

One SCF board member thought the governor's actions were appropriate.

"I think it's a positive thing," said Board of Trustees chairman Carlos Beruff. "I think it's important for the public and the taxpayers to understand the liabilities that some boards get themselves into. It's important that we have some accounting at a state level."

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