Rick Scott announces one dozen judicial, qualification commission and state board appointments

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott announced 12 appointments to a variety of state regulatory boards, including two circuit court judges and two to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court

Scott announced the appointment of Judge Kim Hernandez Vance to the 13th Judicial Circuit Court, which serves Hillsborough County.

Vance, 54, of Tampa, has served as a Hillsborough County Court judge since 2014. From 2005-2014, she was a shareholder with the GrayRobinson law firm, Cohn & Cohn P.A. from 1999-2005, and with Rahdert, Anderson, McGowan & Steela, P.A. from 1997-1999.

“Judge Vance has demonstrated throughout her career a commitment to serving Florida families,” Scott said in a statement. “I am confident she will be a valuable addition to the circuit bench.”

Vance received her bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida and her law degree from Stetson University. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Bernard Charles Silver.

Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court

Scott next named Judge Charles Johnson to the 11th Judicial Circuit Court, which serves Miami-Dade County.

Johnson, 53, of Coral Gables, has served as a Miami-Dade County Court judge since 2010. Previously, he was assistant state attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit from 1989-2010.

“Judge Johnson has more than two decades of legal experience, and I am confident he will continue to serve Florida families honorably,” Scott said. “I am proud to welcome Judge Johnson to his new position on the 11th Judicial Circuit Court today.”

Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from Florida State University. He fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Victoria Sigler.

Judicial Qualifications Commission

Scott also announced the reappointment of Shirlee P. Bowne and appointment of Alvin Alsobrook to the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Both appointments are for a term ending December 31, 2020.

Shirlee P. Bowne, 79, of Tallahassee, is a retired marketing and development consultant.

Alvin Alsobrook, 80, of Gainesville, is the owner of Alsobrook and Associates. He succeeds Dr. Steven Maxwell.

The JQC is a 15-member panel to conduct investigations and hearings on complaints of ethical misconduct by judges and issue advisory opinions regarding appropriate judicial conduct. Two must be district court of appeal judges chosen by all the judges of the state’s five district courts. Two must be circuit court judges chosen by all the judges of the 20 judicial circuits. Two must be county court judges chosen by all the judges of the 67 county courts. Four must be registered voters and lawyers, chosen by the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar. The final five must be registered voters who are non-lawyers chosen by the governor.

Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority

In non-judicial appointments, Scott named Ann Moore and Robert Spencer to the Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority, the agency that manages and operates the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Each of the appointments is for a term ending November 17, 2018.

Moore, 57, of Bradenton, is a real estate broker with Michael Saunders. She is current past president of the Founders Garden Club and previously a member of the State College of Florida District Board of Trustees and the State College of Florida Foundation. She succeeds John Rynerson.

Spencer, 55, of Bradenton, is the owner of West Coast Tomato. He currently serves as president of the Florida Tomato Exchange and the Bradenton Christian School Foundation. Spencer received his bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and his law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law. He succeeds Leslie Wells.

Both appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Florida Inland Navigation District

Scott named Roger “Michael” O’Steen to the Florida Inland Navigation District, which acts as the “local sponsor” of the joint state/federal project for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The district provides lands for the project, such as rights of way and land for managing materials removed from the waterway channel during dredging activities.

O’Steen, 32, of Jacksonville Beach, is director of planning and development with The Parc Group. He fills a vacant seat for a term ending January 9, 2019.

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

Florida Greenways & Trails Council

Scott announced the appointment of Sarrah Carroll to the Florida Greenways & Trails Council.

The Council serves to advise the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on greenway and trail-related issues, promote private partnerships and provide funding recommendations for developing the greenways and trails system.

Carroll, 33, of Tallahassee, is an avid user of the greenways and trails in North Florida. She succeeds Peggy Mathews for a term ending January 23, 2017.

Central Florida Expressway Authority

Next, Scott named Andria Herr to the Central Florida Expressway Authority, which includes the 109-mile limited-access expressway system in Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.

Herr, 53, of Lake Mary, is president of Hylant Orlando. She currently serves on the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Seminole State College Foundation Board of Directors. Herr succeeds Walter Ketcham for a term ending June 20, 2018.

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota District Board of Trustees

Scott reappointed Lori Moran and Charlene Neal to the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota District Board of Trustees. Both terms will end May 31, 2019.

Neal, 62, of Lakewood Ranch, is owner of Charlene Neal Pure Style and vice president of design at Neal Communities. She is reappointed for a term beginning September 4, 2015, and

Moran, 45, of Sarasota, is an agent at Wilde Insurance Services. She received her bachelor’s degree from Oakland University.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

College of Central Florida District Board of Trustees

Scott appointed Rusty Branson to the College of Central Florida District Board of Trustees, a seven-member committee that oversees the Ocala-based public state college.

Branson, 54, of Ocala, has been president of Gateway Bank since 2006. He previously served as chair of the College of Central Florida Foundation. Branson succeeds Priya Ghumman for a term ending May 31, 2019.

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.