Governor must remove developer from expressway board

Many Central Floridians already distrust this agency, which has engaged in shady financial deals, leaned on contractors to make political donations and raised tolls smack-dab in the middle of a recession.

This agency needs someone to rebuild the public's trust — not someone whose personal business is already tied to it.

I asked Batterson about all this, and he was peppy in his response.

"Thanks for writing," he responded. "I'm a huge fan."

I figured Batterson might be less of a fan once I told him I thought he should resign. But he seemed unfazed.

"I am WELL aware of the state's ethics laws," he wrote in an email, "and can assure you and all your readers that I will meticulously obey both the spirit and letter of those laws."

Batterson may be the nicest, smartest, most honest and most experienced 36-year-old Florida has to offer.

He still has no business serving on this board.

And anyone with a lick of sense — or an ounce of commitment to good government — knows that.

That was supposed to be what Rick Scott was all about.

In fact, just last week, I offered the governor unabashed praise for trying to clean up the mess at Workforce Central Florida. Yet now he's now creating a whole new one.

There's a remote chance Scott didn't know how conflicted his new appointment truly was.

Though Batterson's original application included several references to potential conflicts, he didn't fill out the detailed conflict forms until two weeks ago — after he was appointed in July and after the Sentinel highlighted the money Palmer was expected to pocket.

OK, governor, now there is no doubt.

Now the conflicts are out there for everyone to see.

And now you can do what you should have already: Get him out of there. or 407-420-6141