Movers and Shakers: FL Supreme Court elects chief justice, DHSMV hires deputy comm director
The Florida Supreme Court unanimously elected Ricky Polston to be the state’s 55th chief justice starting July 1. Appointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist in 2008, Polston succeeds Justice Charles Canady and will serve a two-year term.
Polston, from the Panhandle town of Graceville, served as a judge of the First District Court of Appeal from January 2001 until October 2008, when he left to join the Supreme Court. He earned his law degree with high honors from Florida State University in 1986 and also attended FSU as an undergraduate, according to a Supreme Court press release.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles hired Kirsten Olsen-Doolan as deputy director of communications. Previously, Olsen-Doolan was a spokesperson for the Florida Public Service Commission. Prior to her career with the state, she spent 20 years as a reporter. She holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Her first day is scheduled for April 18.
Florida’s Department of Health had several high-profile turnovers. Deputy Secretary for Administration Gary Mahoney is retiring after 35 years with the state while Matt Kirkland, the top bureau chief for finance and accounting, is resigning. Attorney Donna Erlich will also be leaving May 1.
The resignations come as the DOH prepares for a massive reorganization mandated this year by the Florida Legislature.
Ed McEachron is the DOH's new division director for the Division of Administration. He has about 18 years of experience in state government. Previously, McEachron was bureau chief of general services. In his new position, he will oversee that bureau in addition to Personnel and Human Resources Management, Finance and Accounting, Budget, Revenue Management and Workforce Development.