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Cost to protect Rick Scott now up to nearly $3 million

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Protecting Gov. Rick Scott, First Lady Ann Scott, their family, and the Governor’s Mansion and grounds cost the state nearly $3 million last fiscal year, up from $2.6 million the year before. The annual Report of Transportation and Protective Services, issued Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, showed the cost to safeguard the governor alone rose roughly $218,000 from 2015-16, to almost $2.3 million in 2016-17.

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Personnel note: Sterling Ivey joins FDLE comm’s team

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Sterling Ivey, a veteran of state government communications, now has joined the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as a communications coordinator. FDLE communications director Gretl Plessinger announced the move Tuesday. He’ll “serve as an FDLE spokesperson and will be responsible for coordinating news releases, interviews, press conferences and internal communications,” she said. Ivey, most recently vice president of corporate communications for SunTrust Banks, has nearly two decades of experience with state agencies. He was public information officer for the Polk…

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Florence Snyder: Rick Swearingen plays J. Edgar Hoover while Broward burns

in Statewide by

While Bald Badasses Rick Scott and Rick (“We know the terrorists are here!”) Swearingen are busy playing dress-up like Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne, Florida’s criminal justice basics are increasingly under the command of the Keystone Kops. The governor and FDLE commissioner are looking to raid state trust funds to “fight terrorism” by adding 46 new Counterterrorism Avengers to the payroll. It’s a good way to grab a cheap headline, and deflect attention from truly terrifying tales of our collapsing…

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State attorney: Law enforcement to look into Andrew Gillum’s email

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The office of State Attorney Jack Campbell in Tallahassee confirmed reports that he has advised Leon County or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look into whether Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a newly announced Democratic candidate for governor, illegally used city software to send out campaign email. “I can confirm there have been allegations; a complaint has been made. And that it has been referred to an investigative agency,” said Assistant State Attorney Eddie Evans of Florida’s 2nd Judicial…

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FDLE consultant arrested in fraud scheme

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A consultant with more than two decades’ experience working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) was arrested and charged with grand theft and organized scheme to defraud the state government, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday. John Leland Goelz, a non-sworn technical consultant to the FDLE for 23 years, oversaw the cellphones used by agents and employees throughout the agency, said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Pessinger. Investigators believe Goelz purchased cellphones for himself and his family using FDLE’s mobile device contract,…

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Rick Scott wants to hire counterterrorism agents

in Statewide by

Vowing to do everything he can to prevent another terrorist attack like the June 12 Pulse nightclub massacre, Gov. Rick Scott pushed for nearly $6 million to create a new counter-terrorism and law enforcement intelligence task force in Florida. “Terror, like we saw in the attack on the Pulse nightclub, is a threat to our state, our nation and each of us,” Scott said in announcing the proposal at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Orlando Regional Operations Center Wednesday. “We need…

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SD 18 candidates make the case for themselves and against Dana Young in Tiger Bay debate

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although Dana Young was a no-show at a Tampa Tiger Bay Club meeting on Friday, her presence was definitely felt as she was the target of several attacks by her three opponents in the state Senate District 18 race. Saying it was the sixth candidate forum where she has failed to appear, Democrat Bob Buesing said she was intentionally avoiding answering the voters’ questions about her “extreme record,” because “it’s not a match for our community.” Young did not attend Friday’s forum because she was attending the…

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