TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran said he still hasn't received enough information about how a business owned by the friend of a state senator used $1 million in state money, but it's not clear if he will demand more money from Florida State University to cover the unexplained expenses.
Corcoran sent FSU President John Thrasher a letter, released Wednesday, that thanked him for agreeing to return $200,000 of the money that was tucked inside the university's budget for Florida Psychological Associates of Fernandina Beach. Corcoran said he realized FSU didn't ask for the money and wasn't given details about how the money was supposed to be used by the firm, operated by Catherine and John Drew, who are friends of Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.
Corcoran demanded details about how the money was spent after the Naples Daily News reported that Bean helped the Drews secure the state money and contacted Thrasher about the secret appropriation being hidden in his university's budget. The $1 million given to the program run by Florida Psychological Associates is part of $315 million that lawmakers hid in university budgets over the past seven years for their pet projects, the Daily News has reported.
Thrasher sent Corcoran emails, invoices, a contract and other records about the psychological program two days after the speaker sent an April 10 letter seeking details about how the $1 million was used. Corcoran noted in that letter he would withhold money from FSU's budget next year if details were not provided.