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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Florida Atlantic University(FAU) President Frank Brogan. He gets the award for the following.

BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic University's chief fund-raiser has resigned before the start of the school's multimillion-dollar capital campaign, leaving with $577,952 in severance pay.

Lawrence Davenport, one of three top administrators hand picked in 2004 by then new FAU President Frank Brogan, wrote a resignation letter on March 19, but FAU Foundation officials didn't learn until Monday that Davenport was leaving. His last day was Friday.

"That's a revelation, really," said FAU Foundation Chairman Ira Gelb about the March 19 resignation letter to Brogan. "If you had told me he was resigning yesterday, I would have said it was an April Fool's joke."

Davenport's six-year contract with FAU says that if he is terminated without cause he can get up to two years' pay as long as he remains unemployed. Davenport's base salary was $241,000, but the contract also calls for the foundation to pay him a set $9,000-a-year, 10 percent of his base salary, and a $1,000-a-month car allowance.

If Davenport resigns, the contract says he is not entitled to "any further compensation." It was not known late Monday why Davenport will receive severance pay if he resigned.

It's also unclear who is going to pay Davenport's severance, although the contract says it will come from "non-appropriated" funds.
How many people in the public sector get two year's severance pay after voluntarily quitting a job? Very few would be the answer. Davenport quit in order to seek employment(A University President position) that he prefers. If the man had any ethics, he would decline this severance package or return it back to the University. I guess he feels entitled to it, if I was a University I'd tell Davenport to take a flying leap if he applied for a job.

Frank Brogan isn't supplying answers as to why Davenport got this deal.
Despite a stipulation in Davenport's contract that excludes him from receiving severance if he resigns, Brogan said giving him the money was the right thing to do.

Davenport, whose contract ran through 2011, sent a letter of resignation to Brogan March 19, but his departure wasn't made public, even to the foundation's chairman, until Monday. Davenport wants to be president of a university and believed that he should leave FAU before the school begins a capital campaign, which could require up to a five-year commitment.

"We began to talk about the possibility of allowing us to transition now," Brogan said. "We thought it was right to honor the severance package even though he was resigning."

Davenport's contract would allow him to receive two years of his $241,000 base salary if he was terminated without cause. That would equal $482,000.

When asked how the $577,950 figure was reached, Brogan said, "I don't know. The negotiation was to make sure it was a fair settlement."

Retirement money may have factored into the package somehow, Brogan said.

FAU Attorney David Kian worked with Davenport on the severance agreement. He was off Wednesday and unreachable.

Brogan said salary dollars will be saved while the university searches for a new lead fund-raiser because FAU Finance Vice President Ken Jessell will take over Davenport's duties instead of the school's hiring an interim replacement.

FAU's capital campaign is expected to begin within a year, and Brogan said he's not concerned about how the severance pay will look to potential donors.
If I was an FAU donor, I'd be asking questions before donating another dollar. Brogan is clueless as to both this and why Davenport shouldn't be getting any severance package. He is also a financial incompetent, thinking the University will save salary dollars while at the same time paying for someone not to work.

Frank Brogan, who was Jeb Bush's Lt. Governor from 1999-2002, is either a total idiot or a liar.

One state legislator is asking questions.

Domino, R-Jupiter, chairman of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee in Tallahassee, sent a letter this week to FAU President Frank Brogan requesting information about the severance pay given to former chief fund-raiser Lawrence Davenport.


Among the questions raised in Domino's letter:

• Who approved this payment?

• How was the amount calculated?

• What extraordinary services did Davenport provide to justify such a payment?

• What were the timeline and circumstances that led to this payment?

• What other FAU or foundation employees can expect similar payments?

• What incentive was there for Davenport to stay at FAU if he received two years' salary for leaving?

"I'm waiting for a response," Domino said Thursday. "We will be yelling loudly on the floor of the House next week if we can't find out what happened here."


"Next time you go after someone for a contribution, they're going to say, 'What about that guy who only worked a few years and got all that money?' " Domino said.
The Palm Beach Post wrote

It doesn't take a wise owl to question the $577,952 severance for Florida Atlantic University's chief fund-raiser, who reportedly has resigned. But if Lawrence Davenport quit, why the generosity? If he was fired, why the golden parachute?

As The Post reported Tuesday, Dr. Davenport said that committing to FAU's multiyear fund-raising campaign conflicted with his goal of becoming a university president. He had sought the job at Florida A&M University. He wants to leave now, rather than in the middle of the campaign. Understood, but the money's still wrong.

Dr. Davenport was one year into a six-year contract that said he was not entitled to "any further compensation" if he resigned. He would get his $241,000 base salary for up to two years if fired without cause, as long as he remained unemployed. FAU President Frank Brogan says the two determined that if a transition is going to occur, better that it happens now.

In practical terms, however, Dr. Davenport would get paid to not do his job. He should have continued working, while looking. For FAU, the price is enormous, even if he effectively was fired for seeking the FAMU post, and even if the fund-raising FAU Foundation pays most of the severance.

For the foundation, this also is more controversy surrounding a significant job. Dr. Davenport replaced Ann Patton, who left in 2005 for Barry University. In 2002, her predecessor, Carla Coleman, illegally used foundation money to deliver outgoing President Tony Catanese a going-away Corvette.

Something stinks badly at FAU, Brogan's non-answers or plain stupid answers are very troubling. Maybe a criminal investigation should be opened, but I wouldn't hold my breath on it. Barry Krischer is little better as a prosecutor than Brogan is as a University President. Florida
taxpayers deserve an answer as what is going on in Boca Raton. Frank Brogan isn't providing them, and that makes him today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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