Florida has a new chief of its office of financial regulation.
Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet on Tuesday appointed 66-year-old J. Thomas Cardwell as commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The selection, at the urging of CFO Alex Sink, brings the longtime Akerman Senterfitt attorney from a career in the private sector to state service.
Cardwell has served as general counsel for the Florida Bankers Association for more than 20 years. He will start with OFR on Aug. 24, making $133,000 — the same salary as the Office of Insurance Regulation commissioner.
He replaces Don Saxon, who was fired by Crist and Sink last year. In the intervening months, Alex Hager and Linda Charity served as interim heads of the department.
The Office of Financial Regulation regulates the securities industry and is responsible for supervising state-chartered banks, credit unions, savings associations, and international bank agencies.