First Eric Smith, now Board of Ed chair T. Willard Fair resigns because of Gov. Rick Scott

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The Palm Beach Post is reporting that T. Willard Fair, chairman of the state Board of Education, has resigned over Gov. Rick Scott? handling of the resignation of education commissioner Eric Smith, who announced he was stepping down on Monday.

Fair? term had already expired in December, but has remained on the board until Scott replaces him.

In a letter to board members sent yesterday, Fair, appointed to the board by Gov. Jeb Bush, criticized the manner in which Scott handled Smith? resignation. Fair essentially accuses Scott of usurping the board? authority by forcing Smith to resign. The governor-appointed board is charged with hiring and firing commissioners. Fair said that Scott has not met with Smith since the governor took office in January.

Fair wrote that he is ?larmed by the Governor? dismissive treatment of this Board, which after all, hired Eric Smith, but which was not consulted, regarding the Governor? desire to divest the State of his services.?

The board is holding an emergency meeting tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. ?elating to discussion and action the announced departures of the Commissioner of Education and Chair of the State Board of Education,?the Department of Education advised in a press release today. Continue reading this story from the Palm Beach Post here.

Fair’s resignation letter is here.

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.