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Steve MacNamara: Five Reasons He Had to Quit

MacNamara is credited with convincing Gov. Scott to open up to the media. He also improved relations with the Legislature.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, quit Saturday after a week of press reports of questionable dealings. Why now?

1. The Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times team broke the news of a no-bid deal he made when he worked in the Senate: "a $5.5 million contract with Spider Data Systems for a software platform," Mary Ellen Klas reports, that benefitted a friend.

2. AP reporter Gary Fineout reported another questionable deal by MacNamara: "a $360,000 no-bid consulting contract to a friend who now leads a task force rooting out state government waste."

3. Fineout tweets he had just asked about a third questionable deal shortly before MacNamara resigned.

4. MacNamara used his staff to update his resume and his state e-mail account to send info to a Montana college where he was applying for a job (another scoop for Klas.)

5. Gov. Scott was in danger of losing cred with voters on anti-corruption, especially Tea Party support he needs. Without it, his approval ratings would be even lower than the mid-30's.

MacNamara denies doing anything improper. He says the no-bid contracts went to companies that were uniquely-qualified to do the work. He said the resume work was not for the job search, but to update his personnel file.

MacNamara said he was planning to leave the position by the end of the year, anyway.

Scott Finn is a former news director at WUSF Public Media, which provides in-depth reporting for Tampa Bay and all of Florida.
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