Gerald Bailey out at FDLE; Rick Swearingen named interim Commissioner

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Gov. Rick Scott continues to assemble his management team for a second term. Tuesday, Scott named Rick Swearingen as interim Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Swearingen has been at FDLE since 1984, serving as Director of the Capitol Police since 2013 and as the Special Agent in charge at the governor’s mansion for three years before that.

“With over 30 years of service at FDLE, Rick has dedicated his career to protecting Florida families and making sure Florida is a safe state for our residents, visitors and businesses,” said Scott. “I look forward to working with Rick and the entire Department as we continue to keep our crime rate at a 43-year low.”

Swearingen follows Gerald Bailey into the Commissioner’s office. Scott and his communication staff offered no explanation for replacing Bailey.   Bailey was appointed Commissioner in 2006.  A week ago at a Cabinet meeting he explained to Gov. Scott and the Cabinet that low pay was creating a turnover problem among the Department’s crime analysts.

Bailey is the second agency head to leave the administration this week. Earlier Tuesday it was announced that Department of Management Services Secretary Craig Nichols would be replaced by Chad Poppell.

Swearingen is a 1982 graduate of Auburn University. His appointment is subjected to approval by the Cabinet.