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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Two officials with state's business licensing, regulatory agency appear headed for bigger and better things



Two officials at the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation could be on a fast track to prominence in Gov. Rick Scott's administration.

Scott and the Cabinet on Tuesday are expected to appoint a new director of the state's tax collection agency, the Department of Revenue, and Scott's favorite is said to be Leon Biegalski, a deputy secretary at DBPR overseeing the four divisions: parimutuel wagering, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, hotels and restaurants and condos, timeshares and mobile homes.

Biegalski, 47, has also worked for the departments of agriculture and transportation, but he has spent most of his public career at DBPR where he began as a staff attorney in 1993, a year after he received his law degree at Nova Southeastern University in Broward County. 

For Biegalski, a promotion to the Cabinet-level post of revenue director would not only be a good career move, but it would quickly get him out of the troubled Northwood Centre, which the state is vacating on an emergency basis at Scott's insistence after widespread complaints by state workers of mold and air quality problems, and where 10 pounds of bat guano were discovered recently in DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson's office. It's a story that has made sensational headlines across the country.

Another DBPR official who might be on the move is Will Spicola, the agency's legal counsel. A source with knowiedge of Scott's thinking says Spicola is a leading candidate to succeed the governor's general counsel, Tim Cerio, whose last day is this coming Friday, April 1. Spicola, 32, comes from a politically prominent Hillsborough County family and is a University of Florida law school graduate.

[Last modified: Monday, March 28, 2016 3:26pm]


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