Rick Scott made Workforce heads roll — good, because locals didn't act

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott made heads roll at Workforce Central Florida.

Good for him — because Central Florida leaders weren't doing squat.

That seems to be this community's M.O.

Scandals brew. Problems are exposed. And local "leaders" make excuses and bury their heads in the sand.

Remember Florida's Blood Centers?

The Orlando Sentinel exposed one problem after another: retreats at the Ritz-Carlton, board members making money off the nonprofit organization they were supposedly watchdogging and a CEO whose annual compensation topped out at nearly $600,000.

All while local patients coughed up as much as $1,400 a pint for this lifesaving liquid that donors had given for free.

And what did local leaders do? Nothing.

It wasn't until a Republican senator from the Panhandle — 400 miles away — starting asking tough questions and threatening action that the reform started.

No legislators with similar courage and conviction could be found locally.

We've seen similar inaction with scandals in government as well.

For instance, the Sentinel also exposed questionable financial deals at theOrlando-Orange County Expressway Authority.

We said they were bad deals. We quoted financial and ethical experts who agreed.

And what did the locals do? Pass the buck.

Mayor Rich Crotty assembled a panel of the same-old-same-olds who declared all of the controversies a nonissue.

Who cared that a grand jury had determined the agency was enveloped in a "culture of corruption"? Or that the county comptroller said the agency's unorthodox bond packages (known as "swap deals") were way too risky?

Crotty's "bluest of blue-ribbon" panels slapped on a couple of Band-Aids and declared the case closed.

Meanwhile, you're still paying the price. Just a few weeks ago, the Sentinel published a story about how the expressway might have to spend as much as $50 million to get out of the same bad deals that we highlighted two years ago.

Mark my words: True reform won't come until some outsider, such as the governor or Legislature, threatens to abolish the entire board.

It doesn't have to be this way.

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