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Florida regulator's office off-limits after 10 pounds of bat poop found in ceiling

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   March 14, 2016 at 2:46 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 14 (UPI) -- The head of a Florida agency inspecting restaurants and hotels was ordered to stay out of his own office after 10 pounds of bat feces were found in the ceiling.

Ken Lawson, secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, was told by inspectors to steer clear of his own office in Tallahassee after they found 10 pounds of guano in the ceiling directly above the official's desk.

"Please let the secretary know his office is off limits until the 10 pounds of bat guano is safely removed from the area directly above his desk," toxicologist David Krause wrote in a Thursday night email obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat. "This poses an unsafe condition and he is advised that no one should enter the room or go above the ceiling tiles without respiratory protection."

The new state budget passed by the state's legislature calls for 1,500 state employees to be moved out of the Northwood Centre office building, which also houses the Department of Children and Families, beginning in the summer. The budget, which still must be approved by Gov. Rick Snyder, calls for lease payments on the building to be halted by July 1.

The plan follows reports of mold and other environmental problems in the building.

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