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Brian Burgess: Adam Hollingsworth appointment could be blip on Rick Scott’s legacy

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As his second term in office winds down, Rick Scott should be considering his legacy as Florida governor, particularly if he wants to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

It’s that same legacy that makes Scott’s recent decision “bizarre,” at least in the eyes of The Capitolist’s Brian Burgess.

Burgess refers to Adam Hollingsworth, Scott’s former Chief of Staff, who the governor named this week to the University of North Florida board of trustees.

As Burgess writes, the appointment “predictably created a wave of justifiable outrage,” one which could needlessly jeopardize both the reputation of Florida’s University System and Scott’s legacy.

Hollingsworth’s earlier admission of academic fraud – lying about a public relations degree from the University of Alabama in 1990 – makes him, in the view of many (including United Faculty of Florida UNF Chapter President  John White), ineligible for a position in academia.

“It seems to me someone should be disqualified from overseeing or evaluating the value of the degrees that we grant at UNF if they lied about having one,” White told the Florida Times-Union. “Granted, that was a long time ago, but it seems to me it is an egregious affront to what we stand for at this university

Yes, the unwanted attention did force Hollingsworth to resign. But Scott’s penchant for dropping people from his circle who generate any bad press – the latest example being Visit Florida’s Will Seccombe – leaves many scratching their heads over Hollingsworth’s placement at UNF, as opposed to a less controversial board appointment.

Hopefully, this will remain just a minor blip on Scott’s legacy, which Burgess is ardently defending.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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