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Department of Health Wants to Move Past Ousted Employee

An ousted Florida department of health official says the agency is showing employees the door “just because it can.” After 14 years of working for the department, Daniel Parker, sent a 3-thousand word email outlining a process he says is replacing experienced employees with “political ideologues.”

In Parker’s e-mail, which he sent through his agency account shortly before his dismissal, he said he’s not worried about his job, but about shedding light on what he sees happening. Parker aimed the bulk of his blame squarely at Governor Rick Scott.

“I think health is such a federal issue and we have an elected staff that has made a career on health so I think they had a natural interest in anything to do with health," Parker said.

Parker said he decided to send the e-mail after being told he’d would soon be laid off, but Parker was dismissed after sending the message. And Department of Health Spokeswoman Jessica Hammonds said the agency let Parker go for his “unprofessional behavior” within the department.

“He did not loose his position to budget cuts. DOH will not assist in his campaign by dwelling on chatter lost in the past and mired in falsehoods," Hammonds said.

Hammonds said the department wants to move forward, not backward.

Daniel Parker is currently running for a seat on the Tallahassee City Commission.



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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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