Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Good Riddance

From the Sun-Sentinel:

Jerry Regier, head of Florida’s problem-plagued Department of Children & Families, announced his resignation Monday, taking credit for “tremendous progress” but admitting he had not been able to move the agency out from under a persistent cloud of mismanaged contracts, morale woes and possible ethical violations.

Glad to see him gone. He’s a right-wing nut-job with a medieval approach to family rearing and a taste for cronyism.

He has been prone to criticism from the start. He came on as a replacement for Kathleen Kearney, a former Broward County Judge who was Bush’s first DCF secretary and another bitterly controversial figure in his administration.

Even before he accepted the job, Bush critics attacked Regier for having worked for the Christian conservative Family Research Council and for being associated with writings saying parents had a right to spank their children, even if it caused welts. Religious overtones occasionally surfaced in his administration, including his development of a program to have churches pray for social workers.

In the end, it wasn’t Regier’s social conservative views that ran him aground.

Instead, there has been a crescendo of complaints, including calls for Regier’s resignation, since an audit last month by Bush’s inspector general that concluded that Regier and two top aides took favors from contractors. The audit placed Regier in the center of scandal, and raised questions as to whether he has been too trusting of private-sector lobbyists and key advisers who’ve socialized with them.

Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the ass on your way out.