I-Team: New Port Tampa Bay board member plans to fix excessive spending issues

Appointed by the governor after I-Team story

TAMPA, Fla. - New Port Tampa Bay board member Mike Griffin has been chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. He says his call to join the board was unexpected.

Even before Mike Griffin got a surprise call from Governor Rick Scott, he says he was concerned about questionable excessive spending at Port Tampa Bay uncovered by the I-Team.

"It was troubling," he tells us as he sits down for an interview.

Governor Scott recently appointed him to the port's governing board.

While only on the job a short time, he has already been reviewing policies on expense spending.

"I think that certainly your reporting shed some light on some very very important areas and that's why a lot of the reasons why I'm here. But we're gonna fix this issue," Griffin says.

The I-Team recently exposed port executives wining and dining on your dime. Expenses like fancy dinners, and golf club memberships.

Since our investigation, Tampa's mayor called for new policy changes, Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran launched a state investigation, and the governor expressed his concerns and appointed Griffin to control the issue.

Reporter: "As a new member what would you like to say to taxpayers?"
Griffin: "This is going to be fixed. That's my number one priority.  I think the governor was very clear that it's a priority for him.  But it's clearly an issue... So I would say to the taxpayers continue to hold us accountable and stay tuned."

The ports board meeting takes place August 15. The board is expected to discuss new policy changes and internal controls on spending.

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Jarrod Holbrook is an Emmy and AP Award-winning Investigative Reporter for the ABC Action News I-Team. Do you have a story idea? Contact Jarrod on FacebookTwitter, or via email at jarrod.holbrook@wfts.com.

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