The rosy scene bothered Tampa attorney Steve Yerrid.
There was Gov. Rick Scott on Monday, happily announcing a $30 million marketing and tourism grant from BP for seven Panhandle counties, thanking a BP senior executive at his side for "stepping up."
Yerrid, appointed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist last year to serve as Florida’s special counsel on the oil spill, says the grant is “chump change” compared to at least $1 billion the state could get from filing a claim against the oil giant.
“The fact that we haven’t filed a claim, and [Scott’s] been in office since January, to me cannot be adequately explained,” Yerrid said. “It’s not like Florida doesn’t need the money.”
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Scott has said he does not want to resort to a lawsuit, though his office said Monday it was working on a possible strategy for a state claim — a precursor to filing suit.
"My goal is to try to work with BP and make sure we don’t end up in litigation," Scott told reporters.
Scott’s reluctance irks a cast of Floridians who want the state to receive the same legal consideration as Louisiana and Alabama, which have already joined a federal case that could be worth tens of billions of dollars. Time is running out, they say.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, sent Scott two letters, one in December and one Monday, urging him to “doggedly” pursue a claim to cover Florida’s damages and protect taxpayers.
To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.