From Sassy to Tallahassee

A brash young environmental administrator is handed a pay cut and a ticket on a fast train out of South Florida

Similarly, spokesmen from the offices of the governor and the lieutenant governor say their bosses were not involved. "I've never heard of the woman and I don't think the governor has, either," declares Tom Herndon, Chiles's chief of staff. "I'm not privy to every conversation the governor has, but if there's been a conversation of this sort, I would've heard about it." Comments gubernatorial spokeswoman Jo Miglino about McKay's alleged involvement: "No, he did not talk to Mary. No, he did not talk to [DEP Secretary Virginia Wetherell], and he really had no contact with [DEP] about that move."

Among other names and organizations attached to the rumors is the powerful Latin Builders Association. Its executive director, William Delgado, says he knows of no builders -- associated with the LBA or not -- who have complained about Williams to either Chiles, McKay, or Virginia Wetherell. "If anybody did it, it's not something that came out of the association," asserts Delgado.

Incongruously, the name of prominent local developer Armando Codina has surfaced among the gossip. "As you can imagine, I have very little clout with Lawton Chiles," remarks Codina, a Republican who is the former business partner of gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush. "If a group of developers is going to meet with Governor Chiles, it would be very prudent not to take me. I've never met with Chiles [about Williams.] I haven't had a conversation with Chiles in about, oh, let me see, three years! If you talk to Ms. Williams, please tell her I had nothing to do with whatever she got. I hope she got a promotion!

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