Personnel note: top DEP official Bob Ballard abruptly resigns

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Bob Ballard abruptly resigned Friday as deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection after questions and controversy involving state lands in recent months, reports Bruce Ritchie of the Florida Current.

Ballard, brother of heavyweight Tallahassee lobbyist Brian Ballard, was deputy secretary for land and recreation.

He resigned after 12 years with the department to pursue other interests, DEP Press Secretary Jennifer Diaz said.

DEP faced controversy earlier this summer when the department proposed putting recreational vehicle campgrounds at four state parks.

In addition, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed funding for the Florida Forever land-buying program housed at DEP under Ballard. DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard also has questioned how much land the state needs to buy for conservation.

Bob Ballard could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Continue reading Ritchie’s story here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.