HomeNewsRon DeSantis Slammed by Florida's Largest Newspaper in Scathing Article

Ron DeSantis Slammed by Florida’s Largest Newspaper in Scathing Article

Flordia’s largest newspaper scrutinizes Governor Ron DeSantis for standing idly by because the College of Florida president appoints two high-ranking officers who will obtain higher-than-average pay whereas working remotely.

UF President Ben Sasse appointed James Wegmann and Raymond Sass, who labored with him when he served as a Republican senator from Nebraska. Wegmann, Sasse’s former chief publicist, is now UF’s vice chairman for communications whereas Sass, Sasse’s former Senate chief of employees, has assumed the position of UF’s vice chairman for innovation and partnerships. The college introduced the appointments in a press launch on September 26.

The Solar Sentinel, which is ranked the primary day by day Florida newspaper when it comes to circulation, in contrast the hiring practices of UF to the political practices of DeSantis, who’s working for the Republican presidential nomination. “At UF, Sasse’s cronyism is an ideal match for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ observe of political plunder,” The Solar Sentinel Editorial Board wrote in an opinion piece on Thursday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks on the Heritage Basis on October 27, 2023, in Washington, D.C. DeSantis was criticized by Florida’s largest newspaper for standing idly by whereas the College of Florida hires two high-ranking officers to work remotely.
Drew Angerer/Getty Photographs

Wegmann’s wage will begin at $432,000 whereas his predecessor Steve Orlando, who was a media relations worker for the reason that ’90s, was solely being paid $270,000 when holding the interim place, UF’s pupil newspaper, The Impartial Florida Alligator reported. That is additionally a steep enhance from the $181,677 he made in 2022, throughout his final full 12 months working for Sasse’s Senate workplace. Sass can even get a big wage enhance making $396,000, which is over double the $181,677 wage he earned in his final 12 months working for Sasse’s Senate workplace.

The 2 new hires can even have the posh of not having to relocate for work. Sass will reside in Maryland, the Alligator stated, whereas Wegmann will reside in Washington, D.C. The Solar Sentinel stated it was “nearly unprecedented in Florida,” for college staff to not ultimately relocate.

“It’s inconceivable to think about that even Florida within the days of DeSantis would enable a brand new college president to work remotely. It is simply as inappropriate for his top-level employees. However it does counsel that maybe Sasse would not need them getting too near the college and employees who have been there earlier than him,” The Solar Sentinel Editorial Board stated.

The editorial board added: “Working remotely can accomplish many issues, because the pandemic demonstrated, nevertheless it doesn’t foster collegiality. Nor does it reveal a private funding within the society that is paying one’s wage.”

UF school representatives confirmed their help for paying “high-performing” staff wage, but additionally displayed some skepticism round who’s chosen for the roles.

“I feel it’s nice that [Sasse] is paying them so nicely because it exhibits he understands that it’s essential to pay high-performing staff nicely with a view to appeal to and retain them,” UF School Senate Chair Danaya Wright advised The Alligator. “On the identical time, I hope that he seems deeply and creatively round UF and realizes that there are extremely certified and succesful individuals already right here who’ve expertise in increased schooling and a deep data of the historical past of UF and that he additionally promotes them to equally well-paying positions.”

In the meantime, Meera Sitharam, president of UF’s school union stated that high-ranking positions funded by the general public need to be marketed “broadly and overtly” and “a number of candidates—even when they’re solicited—have to be screened and in contrast to have the ability to justify the assertion that ‘prime expertise’ is being recruited.” Sitharam added: “In any other case, there isn’t any different title for it besides cronyism.”

DeSantis has been lagging behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who has lately been successful within the polls. Regardless of Florida being DeSantis’ house state, Trump has appeared to take the lead within the sunshine state. Based on fivethirtyeight, a ballot monitoring web site, Trump presently has a median of 58.2 % of voter help, whereas DeSantis trails with 23.6 %.

Newsweek reached out to UF, Ron DeSantis’ workplace, Wright and Sitharam through e-mail for touch upon Friday.