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Chip Diehl appointed to Hillsborough County Aviation Authority

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The long delay in Rick Scott replacing Sam Rashid‘s replacement on the Hillsborough Aviation Authority is over.

After months of being shorthanded, Scott announced the appointment of Arthur “Chip” Diehl III to the agency on Monday.

Diehl, 62, of Tampa, is the managing director of Diehl Associates and a retired Air Force brigadier general He ‘s a member of the Florida Defense Support Task Force, the Hillsborough State College District Board of Trustees, and the Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding. He is also the vice president of the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance. Diehl received his bachelor’s degree from the Air Force Academy and his master’s degree from the University of Southern California.

Diehl replaces Rashid, who stepped down from the agency in October. His resignation came over a month after Scott said he should step down after Rashid profaned Tampa public relations consultant Beth Leytham.

The remark sparked a firestorm in Tampa politics. Rashid, an influential Hillsborough County Republican, made the remark in reference to Leytham’s work on the Go Hillsborough transportation tax plan. He alleged on Facebook that Leytham had “several million dollars” as an “unregistered lobbyist by having an intimately close relationship with three of our local elected officials.”

Diehl fills Rashid’s seat until the end of its term, July 1, 2019.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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