Tallahassee lawyer Stephen R. Andrews has been a pain in Gov. Rick Scott's ass since before he took office. Before Scott won the governor's race, Andrews filed a lawsuit alleging that his ties to Solantic -- the medical firm that would reap a profit bonanza from the drug testing Scott wants to force on Welfare recipients and state employees -- make the company a "public hazard." He also called Scott the "corporate spawn of Satan."
So it's a little curious that Scott's administration is suddenly moving to buy out Andrew's Tally office. "You have to question what the motivation is," Andrews, who has filed a new suit to stop the sale, tells The Florida Current.
Andrews works out of a house that's located next to The Grove, a historic state property that includes former Gov. LeRoy Collins' old home.
Scott's cabinet will consider a request today from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to buy out Andrews' office to add it to The Grove property. It's a bizarre move, Andrews contends, because in January the DEP wrote to the governor recommending against buying Andrews' house because it has "no unique conservation values," the Current writes.
The lawyer says that Scott and his chief of staff personally requested $2.5 million in taxpayer money to buy him out -- perhaps in retaliation for his suit against Scott.
Scott's spokeswoman denies that charge, and claims the $2.5 million Scott requested will be used for another property in the area, not Andrews' home.
Andrews made headlines in August 2010 with his suit against the governor and Solantic, the medical firm whose ownership Scott transferred to his wife after taking office.
The lawyer sued to force the court to release a deposition Scott gave about the clinic -- and even had the governor subpoenaed in front of reporters at a press conference.
Incidentally, Scott's drug testing crusade -- one that would almost certainly financially benefit Solantic -- reached another milestone today. The governor signed into law this morning a bill requiring all state workers (though not legislators, of course) to random drug tests.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.