TALLAHASSEE (NSF) – Florida has received an array of applications for the top jobs at its environmental and law-enforcement agencies, with little more than a week remaining for people to submit resumes.
The job seekers for the Cabinet-level agencies so far range from a former York, Pa., police commissioner and Department of Environmental Protection environmental specialist to an Office Depot manager and Wal-Mart cashier.
The incumbent leaders of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, both currently carrying interim tags, appear to remain the frontrunners even though they have yet to file their applications.
Interim DEP Secretary Jon Steverson and interim FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen, who both have long ties to Florida and the state government, have said they intend to apply.
As of Friday afternoon, 34 applications to be the next law-enforcement commissioner had been posted on the Cabinet’s website as having been filed with the state’s “People First” employment system.
Another 22 applications were online regarding the position of Department of Environmental Protection secretary.
Four of the applicants filed for both jobs.
The deadline to apply is May 31.
Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet — Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater — are expected to vote on the positions June 23.
As part of a new agency-head review process, Swearingen has also been directed at the June 23 meeting to provide a six-month update on accomplishments at the law-enforcement agency.
The requirements for an annual agency-head review and conducting a broad search for the new leaders came after Cabinet members voiced displeasure with the abrupt removal by Scott of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey in December.
Scott recommended Steverson and Swearingen to their $150,000-a-year positions in December, and both got Cabinet backing in January.
However, Steverson and Swearingen were among 16 agency heads who failed to get Senate approval during this spring’s regular legislative session. Steverson and Swearingen were designated interim leaders while the brief national search is conducted. The other 14 agency heads, not needing Cabinet confirmation, were reappointed by Scott.
Among the 34 submissions to run the FDLE are former York, Pa., police commissioner Mark Whitman; U.S. Capitol Police deputy chief Yancey Garner; and Herman Whaley, a former Putnam County deputy who now works as a federal Drug Enforcement Administration deputy chief inspector.
But not all the applicants may meet the desired job requirements.
For the FDLE commissioner, the state wants someone who has served at least five years as a police executive, possesses experience in police affairs or public administration and is “a bona fide” Florida resident.
The residency requirement could be an issue for some candidates. The experience requirement will allow quickly dispensing of resumes that include such experience as a retail specialist at JCPenney or as an Office Depot manager.
The desired applicants for the DEP post are expected to have knowledge of Florida’s environmental laws, hold a degree in a field that could include natural science, law or business, and have 10 years of related professional experience, according to the job posting.
Among those who have filed for the environmental post are David Bishof, who has served as president of Naples-based consulting firm United Environmental Services, and Alexander Bayevsky, a DEP environmental specialist. Otherwise, applications have come from an administrative clerk at a Tallahassee bail bonds company, the founder of a waste and recycling service in Indiana, a Florida Democratic Party field organizer and a Wal-Mart cashier.
The News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner contributed to this report.