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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

It's South, not Hyde, for DMS Post



In a surprise move Thursday afternoon, Gov.-Elect Charlie Crist announced his first choice for Department of Management Services Secretary, Kevin Hyde of Jacksonville, had decided not to take the job, after all. Instead, Crist announced Linda H. South, the director of Agency for Workforce Innovation, would assume the post.

The reason for Hyde's change of heart, according to Crist: Hyde's daughters, 14 and 16, didn't want to move to Tallahassee. Crist said questions about Hyde's links to Convergys, DMS's largest contract vendor, did not play a role. Hyde works for the Jacksonville office of Foley Lardner, which represents Convergys before the state. Hyde, who is also a Republican Jacksonville City Council member, is a labor lawyer and said he was never involved in representing Convergys.

Also announced Thursday: Crist has tapped Leo DiBenigno, deputy secretary of the Florida Lottery, to take over the state agency. DiBenigno's wife, Arlene, is one of Crist's four deputy chiefs of staff. Crist said he didn't anticipate any conflicts of interest.

As exected, the governor-elect also named Rep. Holly Benson, R-Pensacola, to lead the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and LeRoy Collins Jr. to head the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:24pm]


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