Rick Scott makes two judicial appointments, names four to veterinary board

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Gov. Rick Scott announced today two judicial appointments, and named four to the Florida Board of the Veterinary Medicine.

Fifth Judicial Circuit

Scott named Thomas Eineman to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court, which consists of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties.

Eineman, 56, of Springhill, has been Board certified in Marital and Family Law since 1994. For 20 years, Eineman served as a volunteer judge in the Hernando County Teen Court program.

He fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge William J. Singbush. 

“A judge should demonstrate respect for the rule of law and have humility,” Scott said. “Thomas Eineman possesses these qualities, and will do a great job in his new role on the bench.”

Seventh Judicial Circuit

Scott also named Dawn Nichols to the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court, which covers Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties.

Nichols, 48, of Ormond Beach, is a Board certified Marital and Family Law attorney. Since 2006, Nichols served on the Seventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission.

She fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Hubert Grimes.

“Dawn’s family law experience will serve the citizens of the Seventh Circuit very well. I am proud to appoint her today,” Scott said, “and I am confident that she will make a great addition to the Seventh Judicial Circuit bench.”

Board of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Terry Spencer, 59, of Gainesville, is clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine. She succeeds Dr. Joann Helm for a term ending October 31, 2015.

Dr. Robert Hase Jr., 69, of New Port Richey, is medical director at Bayonet Point Animal Clinic. He fills a vacant seat for a term ending October 31, 2016.

Dr. Robert Leonard, 59, of New Smyrna Beach, is a veterinarian at Coronado Animal Clinic. He succeeds Dr. Raul Figarola for a term ending October 31, 2017.

Connie Johnson, 59, of Plant City, is the safety net manager with SPCA Florida. Her reappointment is for a term ending October 31, 2017.

The board appointments are subject to Florida 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.