Top aide to Florida governor resigns amid scrutiny

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida Sun May 13, 2012 2:28pm EDT

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks during an interview in New York March 26, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks during an interview in New York March 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - A top aide to Florida Governor Rick Scott has resigned after a recent flurry of media reports focused on his alleged steering of state government contracts to longtime acquaintances or friends.

Steve MacNamara, Scott's chief of staff and a seasoned Tallahassee insider, sent a letter of resignation to the governor on Saturday.

"It has been a pleasure and honor serving you," he said. "But the recent media attention I have been receiving has begun to interfere with the day-to-day operations of this office."

MacNamara, 59, did not elaborate on that media attention, saying only that he was stepping down six months earlier than planned.

The outgoing chief of staff had drawn public scrutiny for alleged deal making and influence peddling under Scott, including his purported steering of at least two no-bid contracts to acquaintances or partners of close friends.

MacNamara has denied any wrongdoing in his work under Scott.

Scott, a Republican and former healthcare executive, accepted MacNamara's resignation. Scott thanked MacNamara in a statement for his service since he took the job 10 months ago.

"I believe Steve has had a tremendous impact," said Scott, whose supporters include the conservative Tea Party movement.

"I respect his efforts and ideas. I have a great deal of confidence in his ability to assist me and my staff through the upcoming weeks as we transition to a new chief of staff," Scott said.

(Reporting by Michael Peltier; Editing by Tom Brown)

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