The leader of Gov. Rick Scott’s most cherished agency abruptly resigned Monday, citing a “critical” difference of opinion with the governor over their vision of Enterprise Florida.
Chris Hart’s sudden resignation comes on the eve of the Florida Legislature beginning its annual session. House leaders have vowed to kill the agency and have a bill ready to pass as soon as this week to eliminate the agency – and Hart’s job – entirely.
But in his resignation later, Hart only cited differences of opinion with Scott as the reason he was leaving immediately. Hart started his position in January, but had been informally working with the agency and learning how to best move the agency forward during a tumultuous period.
Unfortunately ... I have come to realize that (Gov. Rick Scott) and I do not share a common vision or understanding for how Enterprise Florida, Inc. can best provide value within your administration.
Chris Hart, in his resignation letter as CEO of Enterprise Florida
“Unfortunately, during this same time period, I have come to realize that you and I do not share a common vision or understanding for how Enterprise Florida, Inc. can best provide value within your administration,” Hart wrote in the letter dated Monday and first reported by Politico Florida. “This difference of opinion is of such a critical nature that I no longer believe I can be effective in my position. Therefore, since we have been unable to reach consensus and have no formal agreement or contract in place, I tender my resignation from Enterprise Florida, Inc. effective immediately.”
For the past month, Hart has been a regular at committee meetings in Tallahassee trying to convince House and Senate leaders to give him a chance to right the battered ship at Enterprise Florida. The agency has struggled to regain it’s footing after the last leader Bill Johnson left amid turmoil. An audit of the agency showed it was top heavy with management, spent too much on office space and travel, and has poor financial proceedures that made the agency ripe for fraud, though none had been found.