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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCollum lays off eight to meet tight budget



Attorney General Bill McCollum has laid off eight people, saying the move was necessary to meet Gov. Charlie Crist's ordered 4 percent across-the-board spending holdback. The move saved $321,586, according to his office.

Those let go are attorneys Shelly Chichester, Chandra Dasrat, Juliet Fattel and Dale Tarpley, and staffers from the criminal appeals and capital collateral divisions: Valerie Daewood, Lynn Deming, Gary Parker and Gem Persaud.

The layoffs follow other cost-saving measures, said spokeswoman Victoria Langley Heller. In the past year, about five jobs vacated due to attrition, resignation and other reasons were not filled, saving about $500,000, she said.

At a time of budget cuts, it may have seemed surprising for McCollum to promote his press secretary Sandi Copes and give her a $13,000 raise. But Heller said Copes is moving into a vacant communications director job (once held by Jenny Nash) at a lower salary and that the press secretary position has been eliminated. "We're actually saving money," she said.


[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:51am]


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