Ousted state Revenue Department chief dies

Published August 25, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Former state revenue director Katie Tucker, who resigned under fire in 1990 after her bosses determined she had used her office to harass a Tallahassee businessman, died Wednesday at home after a battle with breast cancer, her family said. She was 62.

Tucker served in state government for 23 years and was the first woman to head a major state agency when she became director of the Revenue Department in June 1988. She previously had directed the state's employment and unemployment services agency and the governor's energy office.

She resigned her position at the Revenue Department after Gov. Bob Martinez and the Florida Cabinet suspended her. Tucker emphatically denied abusing the power of her office.

She retained her state pension by entering a no-contest plea on a misdemeanor charge of attempted official misconduct. She paid a $3,500 fine and was put on probation for a year.

Video store owner Don Resha sued Tucker after she ordered an audit of his businesses in 1988. Resha had unsuccessfully challenged Tucker's husband, Dan Miller, for the presidency of the Florida AFL-CIO.

Resha claimed he was defamed and his privacy invaded by Tucker's accusations that he was involved in drug smuggling, organized crime, money laundering, arms sales and pornography. A jury awarded Resha $396,000. The Florida Supreme Court decided several years later that Resha's complaint wasn't covered by a state constitutional protection against unwarranted "governmental intrusion" and overturned the verdict.

Tucker is survived by her husband, four children and four siblings.