In her Sept. 20 column, Antonacci wrong person for water management district, Paula Dockery smeared a good and honorable Tallahassee public servant and my friend of 30 years.
For the majority of his adult life Pete Antonacci has served Florida in key government positions in the administrations of both parties. Pete started public service before he was a lawyer. After law school, Pete became a top prosecutor in the Second Judicial Circuit. Then for three years, he and I prosecuted major fraud and drug cases throughout the state for the predecessor of the statewide prosecutor’s office. Later, he was appointed the statewide prosecutor.
Attorney General Bob Butterworth asked Pete to be his deputy attorney general. There from 1991 to 1997, he managed over 1,000 employees. Under Pete’s oversight the state brought anti-trust and consumer protection law suits that recovered millions of dollars for individuals and the state.
Thanks to his ingenuity, alertness, hard work, and leadership, the state was able to make the initial purchase of one of its most beautiful and pristine parks, Topsail Hill.
The Attorney General’s Office working with others eventually facilitated a sale that the Orlando Sentinel described this way on Dec. 8, 1997: “The Nature Conservancy, with assistance from the Attorney General’s Office, pulled off one of the greatest land deals in state history.”The environmental group paid the RTC a mere $20 million for 326 acres of Topsail.” Several record land purchases there later created Florida’s most unique state park.
In private practice, Pete has represented public and private sector clients. He volunteered his time and talents by serving two terms on Florida’s Ethics Commission and on federal and state judicial nominating commissions. He served four years on the North Florida Water Management District Board. In 2012, he left his law firm to serve as State Attorney for Palm Beach County, managing 350 employees.
Suggesting that Pete is unprepared for this most recent challenge simply ignores the facts.