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Alberto Gonzales to speak at UF

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Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2007 12:00 am

Alberto Gonzales, the former U.S. attorney general who resigned in August, will speak at UF on Nov. 19.

Student Government records state Gonzales was paid ,40,000 for his speech at UF, which is the first college appearance since he resigned, said Steven Blank, Accent chairman. Accent, SG's speakers bureau, is sponsoring the appearance.

The speech will take place 7:15 p.m. at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, stated a press release from Accent.

The event has been in the works for a few weeks, Blank said.

Free tickets will be available for students with Gator 1 cards on Nov. 14 and for the general public Nov. 15 at the Phillips Center and the University Box Office, the release stated.

Blank said he expects a full house.

In 2005, Accent brought another former state attorney to UF - Janet Reno.

The show was so successful that the bureau jumped at the chance to host Gonzales, Blank said.

Gonzales was appointed the first Hispanic attorney general in February 2005 and later played a role in President Bush's fight in the war on terror after Sept. 11.

Gonzales resigned in August after a controversial tenure.

Gonzales faced scrutiny over his leadership of the Department of Justice in 2006, after he dismissed nine U.S. attorneys.

The White House administration said the dismissals were solely based on performance.

Gonzales called the issue "an overblown personnel matter."

However, some officials have said that the Bush administration was trying to politicize the justice system.

Questions were raised about whether Gonzales testified truthfully about the National Security Agency's abuse of surveillance programs.

Bush denied the accusations against Gonzales.

Meanwhile, Democrats cheered his resignation.

Bush appointed Peter Keisler as acting attorney general Sept. 17.

Gonzales wasn't the only high-level official to resign during Bush's second term.

Gale Norton, Bush's former secretary of the interior, resigned in March 2006. Andrew H. Card Jr., former chief of staff, resigned the same month.

Norman Mineta, former secretary of transportation, left in June 2006.

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