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Agency ex-director still gets full salary

By JENNIFER LIBERTO, Times Staff Writer
Published January 19, 2008

The state decided not to go to court to fight the Healthy Kids severance agreement.

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s insurance program for children will spend $250,000 this year to pay two executive directors due to a generous clause in a five-year-old contract.

Rose Naff, former executive director of Florida Healthy Kids, is being paid her annual salary of $120,293, from the point she stepped down in August until this coming August.

Current executive director Rich Robleto will earn $130,000.

Naff’s generous severance contract was negotiated in 2002, under then-state Treasurer Tom Gallagher’s administration.

It allowed that if Naff resigned in the last six months of any year, she would be entitled to the rest of the following year’s salary, according to Healthy Kids records. Resigning in August gave her access to her entire 2008 salary.

Rather than fight the contract in a legal battle, CFO Alex Sink’s office negotiated an amended contract with Naff, which the Healthy Kids board approved. Naff remains on the books through Aug. 9, cutting nearly five months off the contract.

Naff agreed to act as a consultant to the public-private group at least until Feb. 9, according to the amended contract. She gets full benefits until Aug. 9, after which she can apply for unemployment benefits and the Healthy Kids board won’t challenge it.

CFO spokeswoman Tara Klimek said "there were never any performance issues" with Naff, who has worked for the program since its inception 17 years ago. "We just wanted to make sure those 250,000 kids in the program have a strong executive director and good transition period, so that the director could learn from Rose."

Florida’s Healthy Kids program is a health insurance program for low-income children whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.