Col. Julie Jones emerges in Highway Safety job search
One week from Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet have to agree on an interim executive director for one of the largest and most visible state agencies, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. One early contender to replace the departing Electra Bustle is Julie Jones, who holds the rank of colonel as chief of law enforcement for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The decision is one on which the two candidates for governor, CFO Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum, would likely have to agree. McCollum's office said it was not true, contrary to political speculation, that he was championing Jones' appointment. "The AG supports having a candidate with a law enforcement background, but has not made any specific endorsements," McCollum spokeswoman Sandi Copes said.
Jones, 52, a Tallahassee resident, is a 1974 graduate of Coconut Creek High School in Broward County and has worked for the conservation agency since 1983. Her official bio says she oversees a unit with about 900 employees and a budget of $73 million. Highway Safety has about 4,500 employees and a budget of nearly $400 million.