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Sen. Pruitt on new job: “Life is about relationships”

by George Bennett | June 2nd, 2009

Soon-to-retire state Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, says his new job with a top-shelf law firm could involve lobbying the executive branch of state government. He won’t be allowed to lobby legislators for two years.

Non-lawyer Pruitt today announced he has accepted a government-relations job with the Port St. Lucie office of the Weiss Handler Angelos and Cornwell firm, which is based in Boca Raton. Pruitt said he’s been a friend of one of the firm’s partners, Cynthia Angelos, for 20 years since both were chamber of commerce activists in the Treasure Coast.

“Life is about relationships,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt, who was Senate president from 2006 to 2008, last month cited family and economic concerns in announcing that he’ll step down Aug. 4 with more than a year left in his Senate term.

“Am I going to be able to effectively represent 500,000 constituents and at the same time be able to provide for my family?…I couldn’t do both well. My family had to take the priority,” Pruitt said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post last month.

Pruitt said part of his new job will involve representing clients with issues before state agencies. He mentioned water, land-use and Department of Environmental Protection permitting as examples.

Pruitt said he and Angelos had “discussions about my future” before he announced his departure from the Senate, but no deals were struck. He said the prospect of employment with the firm didn’t influence his decision to leave the Senate.

“I was leaving. It was not a matter of going to the firm. Did that help me seal the decision? No,” Pruitt said this afternoon.

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4 Responses to “Sen. Pruitt on new job: “Life is about relationships””

  1. Joe Six Pack Says:

    Another politician converting the power bestowed upon him by the people into money for himself!

  2. Garl Pinkerton Says:

    Joe, I suppose you have made the identical judgment about, say, Bill Clinton?

  3. Paul D. Harvill Says:

    Sen. Pruitt,

    Please do Florida’s future good.

    Us some 18,000,000 surely do need lobbyists doing the right thing as lobbyists, e.g. in their consultations with their clients’ ambitions vs. the public interest.

    Please review the Florida section at PEER.org.

  4. Stan Smilan Says:

    The only thing better than having a lobbyist is to have an insider appointed to a regulatory body. Case in Point: While serving as President of the 40 member state Senate, Ken Pruitt allowed — without objection — the appointment and confirmation of Nathan Scopp to the five-member Public Service Commission. Nathan Scopp was a former nuclear project manager for the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL).

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