The Lord works in mysterious ways. Ritch Workman, the governor’s appointee probably least qualified to serve on the Public Service Commission, won’t.
The Melbourne Republican, a former state representative, was forced to withdraw his name from nomination Monday after Marc Caputo of Politico, outed his alleged “vulgar and inappropriate comments and gestures” at a charity event last year.
“I’m honored the governor appointed me to the PSC,” Workman told Politico. “But this will be a distraction to the governor and the state of Florida and the Senate. …”
Workman claims he doesn’t remember any such incident. Still, he was always unlikely to go the way of Sen. Jack Latvala and challenge or mount a major offensive against his accuser. Why? Because Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers is his accuser — Benacquisto, chair of the Senate Committee on Rules, who said emphatically she will make sure Workman’s nomination dead-ends with her gavel.
And according to Politico, after Gov. Rick Scott heard Benacquisto’s allegations, “the Governor’s Office privately told Workman … he should withdraw his nomination.”
Benacquisto issued this written statement:
“At a public charity event in 2016, former Rep. Ritch Workman approached me from behind, pushed his body up against me and made vulgar and inappropriate gestures. I immediately asked him to stop. He continued to make vulgar and inappropriate comments and gestures until other attendees intervened. I found his conduct to be abhorrent. As such, I will not agenda his appointment to the Public Service Commission for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Rules.”
Said Workman, “Out of respect to (the governor) and Sen. Benacquisto, I will not pursue my nomination.” Finally, a smart move.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith