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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Cabinet to appoint interim DEP Secretary on Feb. 1

25

January

@JeremySWallace

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet have set a conference call on Feb. 1 to appoint an interim secretary to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and talk about the process for selecting a permanent replacement.

Current DEP Secretary Jon Steverson announced his resignation effective on Feb. 3.

Jon Steverson

The Cabinet met yesterday, but because there was not enough time give proper public notice of the discussion, Scott said the Cabinet would have to hold a conference call in order to make the interim secretary selection. The next regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting is not until Feb. 7, which would have left DEP without a leader between Steverson's resignation and the interim selection.

Amid intense questioning from lawmakers Tuesday, Scott's office withdrew a request from DEP that taxpayers foot the bill for an additional $13 million in legal fees 

Last week, legislators and budget staff started raising questions about the legal feesin the ongoing litigation battle between Florida and Georgia over access to water in the Apalachicola-Chatahoochee-Flint River basin. DEP, which handles the legal contract, want $17.1 million more in taxpayer funds, bringing the total cost for the year to about $41 million. Two days later, Steverson announced he was retiring. 

Amid intense questioning from lawmakers Tuesday, Scott's office withdrew a request from DEP that taxpayers foot the bill for an additional $13 million in legal fees.

The conference call will be at 4 p.m. on Feb. 1. Scott has the authority to appoint a permanent DEP secretary, but the rest of the three elected Cabinet members are required to confirm the selection.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 2:59pm]

    

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