TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott announced the hiring of three state agency heads, including a holdover from his predecessor's administration and the chief of staff of former House Speaker Ray Sansom.
Mike Hansen, who testified at the grand theft trial of Sansom, his former boss, was named head of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. The charges were ultimately dropped against Sansom.
Hansen is the fourth man to run the agency, including two interim directors, under Scott.
Cynthia Lorenzo was named director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Lorenzo was installed at the agency by then-Gov. Charlie Crist and has been interim director for seven months under Scott.
Doug Darling was also named the first director of the newly created Department of Economic Opportunity.
Darling, a deputy chief of staff under Scott, was chief of staff at the Environmental Protection Department and was chief of the state Division of Accounting and Auditing when Alex Sink was the state's chief financial officer.
Sink forced Darling to resign from that job following the discovery of a scheme to defraud the state of millions of dollars by a Lebanese man living in Broward County.
As head of the new agency, Darling will oversee most of the state's economic incentives and be expected to work hand in hand with state Commerce Secretary Gray Swoope.
"As we work to make Florida the best place for businesses to grow, expand and create jobs, I am confident in Doug's ability to lead our efforts to streamline existing economic development functions into one agency," Scott said.
Michael C. Bender can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 224-7263. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelCBender.