Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Scott admitted responsibility for the controversial firing of Florida's top law enforcement officer, but he insists he did nothing wrong.

His critics are now trying to use public opinion to force an investigation into the firing of former FDLE chief Gerald Bailey.

Bailey said he was forced to resign as punishment for not cooperating with the governor's re-election campaign, claiming he was even asked to shift the blame for the escape of two prison inmates to an innocent Orange County court clerk.

Even the way Bailey was ousted may have been illegal, as it's not up to the governor alone, but rather the entire Cabinet, to hire and fire.

On Wednesday, Damien Filer with Progress Florida dropped off 10,000 signed petitions calling on Tallahassee's U.S. and state attorneys to launch investigations.

"It appears that there may have been both state and federal violations of law, and that's what we're hoping that the both state and U.S. attorneys will actually look into themselves and make that determination on behalf of the people who are concerned about this," Filer said.

There's no question the scandal has taken a toll on Scott's political capital, but so far he hasn't taken the kind of heat that would come with a criminal investigation.

For that investigation to happen, though, the trigger wouldn't be petitions, but evidence.

After initially backing the drive for an investigation, Scott's fellow Republican Cabinet members are backing off. The reason is because it's Bailey's word against the governor's word, with no hard evidence to back up the allegations.

"The attacks against me are absolutely untrue and they're ridiculous," Scott said. "A lot of the attacks have been against my staff. All those attacks have been addressed online and they've been rebutted."

Still, that may not close this case. According to Florida's senior U.S. senator, federal authorities have their eye on the governor, just like activists say they have their finger on the pulse of an outraged public.

Next month, Scott and the state Cabinet plan to overhaul the way top officials are hired and fired. The new rules would require a full hearing before anyone is let go.