USF President Judy Genshaft has fired controversial University of South Florida Polytechnic Chancellor Marshall Goodman, according to a press release sent out around noon. Goodman had been mired in controversy over attempts to grant USF Polytechnic independence from the main USF campus — a debate that had drawn lawmakers from both sides of the issue.

Criticism was leveled at Goodman and USF Poly for spending money on items and services that many might consider frivolous — including $10,000 for Star Wars figures, $500,000 for a documentary about the school and $800,000 for travel. State Sens. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, and Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, penned letters to higher-ups at USF Poly in November, requesting an audit of the school’s finances.

Fasano applauded the decision shortly after it was announced, saying he was pleased that Genshaft had removed a major distraction from USF.

“Sen. Fasano felt that Mr. Goodman has made the Lakeland campus a sideshow with his attempts to become independent from USF Main,” said Greg Giordano, Fasano’s chief legislative aide. “He feels that his questionable expenditures and decisions he made while heading the campus cast a cloud over not only the Lakeland campus but the university as a whole.”

Goodman will be replaced by accountant David Touchton.

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