Monday, January 24, 2011
Another top Florida DEP official is on the way out
The resignation of another top staffer has been accepted at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, creating another high-level vacancy under new DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard.
Janet Llewellyn, director of the Division of Water Resource Management, was told Friday that her resignation had been accepted, according to sources outside of the agency. Resignations were requested from department heads and division chiefs in December during the transition for Gov. Rick Scott.
DEP officials on Monday did not respond to requests for confirmation. A woman who answered the phone in the Division of Water Resource Management said Monday that Llewellyn no longer worked there. Llewellyn, who remained listed in her position on the DEP web site, could not be reached for comment.
Eight other top-level positions at DEP were vacant last week after their resignations were accepted in December. (See list in Jan. 19 story).
Vinyard, a former ship-building executive, began work at the department last Wednesday -- the same day his appointment was confirmed by the governor and Cabinet. Scott told reporters Wednesday that Vinyard still was assembling his leadership team at the department.
Meanwhile, Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, told the Northwest Florida Daily News last week that he favors getting rid of, or at least gutting, the Department of Environmental Protection, according to a report.
Gaetz on Monday told the Florida Tribune that he didn't say he wanted to "gut" DEP. "I think we have to look at the functions of DEP and find out where we can combine those with job-creation functions," Gaetz said.
Gaetz also said he is working on a bill to eliminate the Florida Department of Community Affairs and move its emergency management functions under the governor's office. Scott's transition team in December proposed merging DCA, DEP and the Florida Department of Transportation, but the governor said last week he had not made such a proposal.
(Story provided by the Florida Tribune. Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and FloridaEnvironments.com. Do not copy or redistribute without permission, which can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.)