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FDLE officer, Pasco sheriff's detective hope for Hernando sheriff appointment

BROOKSVILLE — Two more candidates with local ties and deep law enforcement experience want to finish the term of Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent.

Michael "Rick" Singer, a 51-year-old resident agent in charge of the Brooksville field office of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, has submitted his name for possible appointment by Gov. Charlie Crist.

So has Peter Federico, a 45-year-old major crimes detective with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Nugent was elected to Congress this month and will resign Dec. 31. His term runs through 2012.

Singer, who lives in his native Brooksville, worked for the Hernando Sheriff's Office from 1977 to 1989. He served as a corrections officer and patrol officer and spent five years in the criminal investigations division.

He has worked with the FDLE since then, with stints in the Jacksonville and Tampa Bay regional operations centers. The Brooksville field office assists sheriff's offices and police departments in Pasco, Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties. The office also conducts criminal investigations independently and in conjunction with state and federal agencies.

Singer said that experience gives him a broad perspective.

"I've seen a lot of different ways that agencies do things, and I think I can bring some new ideas to the (Hernando Sheriff's Office) and keep it progressing."

Singer has a master's degree in criminology from the University of South Florida in Tampa and is currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration with a concentration in criminal justice from Northcentral University in Arizona. He is married with two grown sons.

A native of New York, Federico joined the Pasco Sheriff's Office in 1997. He has a master's degree from SUNY Stonybrook.

Federico could not be reached for comment Friday. In his application, he touts his leadership and interpersonal skills.

"I have both an academic and practical knowledge of crime and how it relates to society and a history of public service," he wrote.

The two additional applications make eight. Most of the candidates have indicated they plan to run for the post in 2012 or will at least consider it. Singer said he fits in the latter category.

Nugent has recommended that Crist select Mike Maurer, who has been with the Sheriff's Office since 1988 and is currently operations chief.

The other candidates:

• Assistant State Attorney Don Barbee of Spring Hill.

• Eddie McConnell of Brooksville, who worked at the Hernando Sheriff's Office for more than two decades, made unsuccessful bids for sheriff in 2000 and 2004, and is currently a lieutenant with the Groveland Police Department.

• Brian Moore, a health care consultant and peace activist from Spring Hill.

• Al Nienhuis, who has served for nearly a decade as the undersheriff in Pasco County.

• Robert "Bobby" Sullivan, who retired from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office as a captain in 2007 and is now executive director of public safety for Saint Leo University.

The governor's office has not indicated when Crist will make a decision.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or

FDLE officer, Pasco sheriff's detective hope for Hernando sheriff appointment 11/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 19, 2010 7:07pm]
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