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Former Rick Scott general counsel Pete Antonacci returns to lobbying

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Pete Antonacci, former general counsel to Gov. Rick Scott, is back in the lobbying game just weeks after leaving the EOG.

In a press releaseGrayRobinson announced that Antonacci would be rejoining the firm where he worked from 2000 until 2012, when he was appointed to an opening as state attorney in Palm Beach County. Then, when that office was filled by Dave Aronberg in the November 2012 elections, Antonacci was tapped to head up Scott’s in-house legal team.

“We are honored Pete chose to return to GrayRobinson,” said the firm’s president and managing director Byrd “Biff” Marshall. “After serving the state in several important roles, his experience will be invaluable to the firm’s capitol city practice.”

In the days since Antonacci’s return he has registered to represent Accelerated Learning Solutions, Inc.Meadowbrook, Inc. — a private charter school management company and an insurance concern, respectively — as well as the National Notary Association, according to filings with the Florida Lobbyist Registration Office.

Antonacci found himself front and center in the kerfuffle over the ouster of former FDLE chief Gerald Bailey when it was revealed that he took an active role in Bailey’s firing, including personally delivering the directive that Bailey was to “Retire or resign.”

Bailey initially charged that Antonacci instructed him to “just delete” political material that was inappropriately sent to Bailey from within the Scott campaign, advice which may have constituted destruction of public records. Bailey has since backed off his claims of undue political influence in the administration.

Per state law Antonacci is barred from lobbying the executive branch for two years, but is free to pursue influencing the Florida House and Senate.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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