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Personnel note: Robert ‘Budd’ Kneip retires from CFO’s office

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Robert “Budd” Kneip, chief of staff to state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, will retire Aug. 31, the office announced Friday. Kneip will be retiring after nine years of public service, with “an announcement on the transition to a new Chief of Staff (to be) made in the coming days,” a press release said, suggesting that decision is in the can. Kneip had been former CFO Jeff Atwater’s man, a fellow Palm Beach Countian who served as Atwater’s chief of staff when…

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CFO’s office largely loses fight to get info from insurance companies

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A Tallahassee judge sided with life insurance companies Monday, restricting preliminary information-gathering by the state in defense of a new law requiring insurers to track down beneficiaries. The outside lawyer for the Department of Financial Services, which advocated for the measure, said he plans to appeal the decision that allows only limited discovery.

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Rick Scott names Tom Grady to constitutional review panel

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Former state Rep. Tom Grady will take Jimmy Patronis‘ place on the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday evening. In picking Grady, a Naples attorney and a friend of Scott’s, the governor passed over the three alternates he previously selected to fill an empty seat on the commission, which will review the state’s governing document for possible changes.

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Outgoing CFO Jeff Atwater reports $2.5M net worth

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has reported a $2.5 million net worth for 2016, as part of his annual financial disclosure statement. Atwater, a former banker whose last day in office is Friday, filed his disclosure with the Florida Commission of Ethics earlier this week. He’s leaving to become chief financial officer for Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. New CFO Jimmy Patronis was sworn in Friday. The disclosure shows that his worth has gone up from his 2013 filing as…

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Jimmy Patronis is sworn in as Chief Financial Officer

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Former state Rep. and Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Patronis was sworn in Friday morning as the state’s fourth Chief Financial Officer. Patronis took the oath of office in the Governor’s office, given by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, and standing next to wife Katie and sons Theo and Johnny. “Thank you for allowing me to partake in this incredible honor,” the Panama City Republican told them. “I look forward to keeping up the same standards and values that CFO (Jeff) Atwater…

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Jimmy Patronis’ move to CFO creates PSC, CRC openings

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Now that Jimmy Patronis is leaving the Public Service Commission and Constitution Revision Commission to become the state’s next Chief Financial Officer, Gov. Rick Scott has to replace him on those panels. The Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council is charged with “screening and nominating applicants for appointment by the Governor to fill vacancies on the Florida Public Service Commission,” its website says. (The 12-member council, by the way, has four vacancies, including its vice chair, according to its website.) Patronis’…

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Rick Scott says citrus veto is constitutionally valid

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Gov. Rick Scott responded Monday to a lawsuit brought by homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were torn down by the state, saying his veto of reimbursements to homeowners was “consistent with his constitutional authority.” The homeowners have asked the Florida Supreme Court to undo Scott’s veto of more than $37 million. The Republican-controlled Legislature agreed to pay homeowners in both Broward and Lee counties whose trees were torn down in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker. The money was…

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