House Speaker Richard Corcoran thanked Florida State President John Thrasher for returning money from a now controversial appropriation.
The university got part of an appropriation for Florida Psychological Associates, a firm operated by friends of Sen. Aaron Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican.
“I recognize that the lack of direction … placed FSU in a situation it did not seek,” Corcoran wrote in a letter dated Tuesday, saying Thrasher’s willingness to return the money was “commendable.” The letter was released Wednesday.
While saying he still had “concerns regarding expenditures that fail to return sufficient value to taxpayers,” the Speaker recognized the school “attempted to develop good measures” for the Mental Health Early Screening program.
The Naples Daily News has reported that Bean helped his friends secure state money for their business and claimed it was “hidden” in the state budget. Corcoran said the company “fell short of expectations.”
“I want to thank Speaker Corcoran for his letter of support and his acknowledgement that Florida State neither requested this appropriation nor received any direction regarding it,” Thrasher said in a statement.
“I appreciate that he recognizes from the extensive documentation we provided that FSU did its best to develop and administer the program and his praise for our willingness to return to the state the money allocated for indirect costs. We look forward to continuing to work with the Speaker and the Legislature to ensure accountability and transparency in the appropriations process.”
Corcoran’s letter is reprinted below: