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Gov. Scott announces 15 appointments, including five to judicial courts

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On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott announced 15 appointments – including five judicial court appointments – to a variety of state regulatory boards.

Leon County Court

Scott announced the appointment of J. Layne Smith, who serves as general counsel for the Florida Department of Lottery, to the Leon County Court.

Smith, 53, of Tallahassee, previously served as general counsel for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation from 2011-2014. Smith was a partner with Smith, Brooks & Masterson, P.L. from 2004-2011. He began his legal career in 1987 with the Clark Partington and has served on the State Retirement Commission since 2014. Smith fills a vacancy created by the Supreme Court’s order regarding Judge Judith Hawkins.

“J. Layne Smith has the qualities that make a great judge,” Scott said in a statement. “His years of dedicated service to Florida families has prepared him for his time on the Leon County Court bench.”

Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court

Scott also announced the appointment of Cheryl Caracuzzo to the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, which serves Palm Beach County.

Caracuzzo, 45, of Jupiter, has served as assistant state attorney in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit since 1996. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Edward Fine.

“I am confident that Cheryl will continue to do a great job as a judge on the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court,” Scott said. “I look forward to her continued service to the people of Florida.”

Miami-Dade County Court

Scott announced the appointments of Laura Anne Stuzin and Diana Vizcaino to the Miami-Dade County court.

Stuzin, 45, of Miami Beach, has practiced with Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A., since 1999. She previously practiced with Coffey Diaz & O’Naghten, LLL, from 1998-1999, and served as an assistant state attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit from 1994-1998. Stuzin fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Rodolfo Ruiz to the Circuit Court.

“Laura’s years of practice will serve her well on the Miami-Dade County Court bench,” Scott said. “She will continue to serve Florida with distinction.”

Vizcaino, 40, of Miami Lakes, has served as an assistant city attorney for the City of Miami since 2008. She previously served as an attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2007-2008, and was a partner with Boyd, Mustelier, Smith & Parker from 2005-2007. Vizcaino began her legal career as an assistant state attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit from 2000-2005. She will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Gladys Perez.

“Diana is going to make a great addition to the Miami-Dade County Court bench,” Scott said. “Throughout her career as an attorney, she has demonstrated a strong understanding of the law, which will allow her to serve the citizens of Florida with dignity and compassion.”

Eighth Judicial Circuit Court

Scott announced the appointment of Donna Keim to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court, serving Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union counties.

Keim, 43, of High Springs, has practiced with the Bice Cole Law Firm since 2004. She previously practiced with Dell Graham from 1999-2004, and with Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, Delatorre & Sobel in 1999. Prior to that, Keim was an attorney for Fidelity National Insurance. Keim has volunteered her legal services to clients of the Three River Legal Services since 1999. She fills a vacancy created by the Supreme Court’s order regarding Judge Mary Day Coker.

“Donna has demonstrated the qualities that make a great judge,” Scott said. “I am confident she will serve on the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court bench with distinction.”

Florida Board of Medicine  

In non-judicial activities, Scott made one appointment and three reappointments to the Florida Board of Medicine, which ensures every physician practicing in the state meets minimum requirements for safe practice.

Dr. Gary Dolin, of Bradenton, is an ophthalmologist with The Eye Depot. He is a past president of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology. Dolin succeeds Onelia Lage for a term ending October 31, 2018.

Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, of Fort Lauderdale, is the chief executive officer of Broward Health. He is a past president of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians and the immediate past chair of the Board of Medicine. Sanadi’s reappointment for a term ending October 31, 2018.

Dr. James Orr, of Bonita Springs, is a gynecologic oncologist with 21st Century Oncology. He is currently the chair of the Board of Medicine and is a past president of the Florida Society of Gynecologic Oncology. Orr’s reappointment is also for a term ending October 31, 2018.

Dr. Zachariah Zachariah, of Sea Ranch Lakes, is a cardiologist. He previously served on the Board of Medicine from 1988 to 1992 and 1999 to 2002. Zachariah’s reappointment is for a term ending October 31, 2018.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling

Scott announced two appointments and one reappointment to the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling, which is responsible for licensing, monitoring, disciplining and educating clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and mental health counselors.

Lisa Bolhouse, 53, of Tallahassee, is a licensed clinical social worker with the University Counseling Center at Florida State University. She succeeds Sandra Barlow for a term ending October 31, 2018.

Fabio Andrade, 56, of Weston, is the managing member of Fabio A. Andrade Consulting Group LLC. He succeeds Mary Bridgman for a term ending October 31, 2016.

Dr. Denise Cecil-Van Den Heuvel, 59, of West Palm Beach, is a self-employed psychotherapist and the program director of the clinical mental health-counseling master’s program at South University. Her reappointment is for a term ending October 31, 2018.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Board of Respiratory Care

Finally, Scott announced three appointments and to the Board of Respiratory Care, which ensures that every Respiratory Therapist practicing in Florida meets minimum requirements.

Joseph Frey, 32, of Longwood, is a program director for the Concorde Career Institute. He fills a vacant seat for a term ending October 31, 2015.

Ruben Colon, 38, of Deltona, is a respiratory therapist with Florida Hospital Fish Memorial. He succeeds Peter Hendriksen for a term ending October 31, 2018.

Roberto Garcia, 50, of Miami Lakes, is a respiratory therapist with Kindred Healthcare. He succeeds Delbert Fields for a term ending October 31, 2018.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

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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