He took on the NRA and tobacco companies, but Butterworth says his 18 months as the Secretary of the Department of Children and Families is the toughest job he has ever had.
"I've had a number of opportunities in my almost four decades of public service, but this I believe has been the greatest challenge and most rewarding challenge," said Butterworth.
Butterworth announced his resignation Tuesday. Governor Charlie Crist praised Butterworth and joked about why he appointed him.
"It's probably the toughest job in Florida," said Crist. "It's probably why people think I appointed a Democrat."
Butterworth took over the troubled agency in January 2007.
During his 18 months at DCF, the department has seen a record number of adoptions, finding homes for more than 3,500 children. Under his leadership DCF has been able to cut down on the number of kids in state custody.
"We have 22 percent fewer children in foster care, keeping families together and we're leading the nation in this arena and others," said Butterworth.
While Butterworth says his greatest accomplishment was bringing more transparency to a department scrutinized for keeping things from the media, the Governor says his legacy will continue through the kids helped under his leadership.
Butterworth will step down August 15th. It will be up to the Governor to find his replacement.
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