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Gov. Rick Scott announces 14 state appointments

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On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott’s office released the names of 14 legal and state board appointments.

Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsels

Scott began by announcing reappointments in the Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsels for Florida’s First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Regions. Regional Counsels are responsible where court appointed counsel (CAC) is mandated either constitutionally or by general law in a variety of Civil Cases.

Jeffrey E. Lewis, 60, of Pensacola, has served as Regional Counsel for the First Region since 2007. Previously, he was an assistant public defender in the Pensacola Office of the Public Defender from 1998 to 2007. From 1992 to 1993, he was a staff attorney with First National Life Insurance Company, and from 1986 to 1992, an assistant state attorney with the Office of the State Attorney, First Judicial Circuit. He practiced as a sole practitioner from 1993 to 1998 and in 1984, and with Lewis, Dennis and Lewis from 1984 to 1986. Lewis is reappointed for a term ending Sept. 30, 2019.

Ita M. Neymotin, 43, of Fort Myers, has served as Regional Counsel for the Second Region since 2011. She was the managing partner of Kremenchuker Law Group from 2010-2011. Previously, she served as a trial attorney and chief for the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel for the Second Region from 2007 to 2010. She practiced with the Office of the Public Defender for the 20th Judicial Circuit from 2004 to 2007, the Kremenchuker Law Firm P.A. from 2003 to 2004, and the Office of the State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit from 2002 to 2003. Neymotin is reappointed for a term ending Sept. 30, 2019.

Eugene F. Zenobi, 70, of Miami, has served as Regional Counsel for the Third Region since 2011. Previously, he served as a contract attorney for the Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel for region of the 3rd District Court of Appeal. Zenobi practiced with the Office of the Public Defender for Miami-Dade County from 1976 to 1980. From 1970 to 1976, he practiced with Central Pennsylvania Legal Services. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton and a law degree from the University of Miami. He is reappointed for a term ending Sept. 30, 2019.

Antony P. Ryan, 50, of Riviera Beach, has served as Regional Counsel for the region of the Fourth Region since 2011. Since 2004 and from 1991 to 1996, he served as an assistant public defender for the Office of the Public Defender for the 15th Judicial Circuit. Previously, he was a sole practitioner from 1999 to 2004 and practiced with the Law Office of Max Rudmann from 1996 to 1999. Ryan is reappointed for a term ending Sept. 30, 2019.

Jeffrey D. Deen, 61, of Oviedo, has served as Regional Counsel for the region of the Fifth Region since 2007. Before his appointment as regional counsel, he practiced with Deen and Laurence from 1999 to 2007 and with Fisher, Laurence, Deen and Fromang from 1990 to 1999. He served as assistant state attorney for the State Attorney’s Office for the 18th Judicial Circuit from 1984 to 1990, except for brief periods in 1989 and 1990 when he practiced with Barnett and Barclay. Deen is reappointed for a term ending Sept. 30, 2019.

Each reappointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group

Scott then named Ruban Roberts to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group. The JJDP State Advisory Group is a panel (15 to 33 members) comprised of individuals from across the State with training, experience, or special knowledge of the juvenile justice system.

Roberts, 47, of Miami Gardens, is the chief executive officer of RER Consulting. He fills a vacant seat for a term beginning March 15, 2016, and ending at the pleasure of the Governor.

Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission

Scott announced the reappointment of Michael Hansen to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, a federally mandated group “to promote better utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the seaboard of the Gulf of Mexico, by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection of such fisheries and the prevention of the physical waste of the fisheries from any cause.”

Hansen, 64, of Crawfordville, is the chief executive officer and president of the Florida Council on Community Mental Health. He is reappointed for a term ending Jan. 5, 2019.

Hansen’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel

Scott next made one appointment and two reappointments to the Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel, which oversees clinical laboratory directors, supervisors, technologists, blood gas analysts, or technicians who are responsible for laboratory test procedures.

Dr. Yvette McCarter, 52, of Jacksonville, is the Director of Clinical Microbiology at UFHealth Jacksonville College of Medicine. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term ending Oct. 31, 2018.

Carleen Van Siclen, 53, of Jacksonville, is a laboratory education coordinator with Mayo Clinic. She is reappointed for a term ending Oct. 31, 2019.

Beatriz Montoya, 54, of Hollywood, is a medical technologist at Memorial Regional Hospital South. She is reappointed for a term ending Oct. 31, 2019.

Each of the three appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Barbers’ Board

Scott followed that with two appointments and one reappointment to the Barbers’ Board, which is responsible for licensing and regulating barbers.

Michelino Nibaldi, 37, of Tavernier, is the master barber at Ocean Reef Club. He succeeds Julie Rivera and is appointed for a term ending Oct. 31, 2016.

Antonett Munchalfen, 61, of Tampa, is a barber instructor for the Hillsborough County School District. She succeeds Herman E. White and is appointed for a term ending Oct. 31, 2016.

William Gilbert, 66, of Tallahassee, is a self-employed barber with Executive Haircare. He is reappointed for a term ending Oct. 31, 2018.

Each of these three appointments is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Board of Optometry

Lastly, Scott named John Griffin to the Board of Optometry, which oversees and regulates every person in engaged in the practice of optometry throughout the state.

Griffin, 64, of Tallahassee, is a retired attorney. He fills a vacant seat for a term ending Oct. 31, 2018.

Griffin’s appointment is also subject to Senate confirmation.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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