State Attorney Michael McAuliffe won't serve full term; Scott to appoint successor

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- State Attorney Michael McAuliffe said this morning that he plans to leave office sometime before his term expires in January 2013.

McAuliffe shocked the local political world this week when he announced he would not seek reelection this year and would instead take a job with Oxbow Carbon, a West Palm Beach-based energy company headed by billionaire Bill Koch.

Today, McAuliffe told The Palm Beach Post he will leave office before his term is up, but he said he has not set a date for his departure.

McAuliffe said he has not yet talked to Gov. Rick Scott‘s office about his plans. The Republican governor would appoint a replacement to fill the remaining months of Democrat McAuliffe's term.

"Understandably the company wants and needs me before January of 2013 and so, as a result, I will be unable to complete my full term," McAUliffe said in a brief interview. He said he'll announce a specific departure date "when it's appropriate….The goal is to have an orderly transition in this office so that the work proceeds uninterrupted."

McAuliffe just sent this message to his staff:

I know it has been a difficult week – at least with regard to unforeseen news about my status and intentions. I thank you for your many, many words and messages of support and encouragement. I am indebted to you. As I stated to some already, understandably the company I will join wants and needs me before January 2013. As a result, I will not be able to complete my full term of office. I am finalizing a transition plan and time table. You will be the first to know the specifics. The plan and time table will ensure a smooth, thoughtful path for the change. As you know, the office is much, much more than any individual including the office holder. Please stay focused on what you do so well – prosecuting individuals for crimes committed in our community.

Thanks. MM

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