Scott jobs chief Doug Darling resigns after six months on the jobby Dara Kam | January 27th, 2012
Doug Darling, the head of Gov. Rick Scott’s “Department of Economic Opportunity,” is leaving the post six months after the governor appointed him to lead the newly-created agency at the end of July.
Agency for Workforce Innovation chief Cynthia Lorenzo will fill in as interim director beginning Wednesday, Scott said in a statement announcing Darling’s resignation. Darling, who cited “personal reasons” for his departure in a letter to the governor dated yesterday, will stay on the job until Tuesday but pledged to help with the transition for another month.
“I am incredibly grateful for Doug’s 15 years of service to the State of Florida and the contributions he has provided to numerous state agencies and my office. I appointed Doug in July to lead the new agency, and I thank him for his invaluable efforts in getting DEO off the ground. He has been a tremendous asset during these first months of the agency and has been instrumental in promoting Florida as the top place to do business,” Scott said, wishing Darling “the best in his future endeavors.”
Darling was forced out as a top aide to former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink – who lost her bid for governor to Scott by a hair – over an audit that found his division lacking in internal controls. Darling also served at the departments of Environmental Protection and Education.
Darling generated some controversy in the fall when he revealed that Florida has paid tens of millions of dollars to lure companies to the state for jobs that were never created. After Darling initiated a review of the economic development incentives, his office later backed away from his critique of the jobs return on the tax breaks, saying the situation wasn’t as bad as it first appeared.