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Sunday, Jan 20, 2019
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Agency heads under Ron DeSantis must reapply to keep jobs

Calling it standard practice, governor-elect Ron DeSantis has directed state agency heads to submit their resignations by Friday as he assembles a new administration.

Agency chiefs like Department of Children & Families interim Secretary Rebecca Kapusta received an email from transition team executive director Susie Wiles Tuesday explaining that their resignations must be effective by the end of business on Jan. 8. That's the date that DeSantis is to be sworn in as governor.

Wiles said anyone hoping to retain their jobs in the DeSantis administration should also submit a résumé.

"This request applies to all agency heads under the Governor's purview," Wiles wrote. "Agency Heads should also forward this request to the following agency leadership: all deputy and assistant secretaries, chiefs of staff, communication directors, general counsels, legislative affairs directors and division directors."

Wiles also directed all staff within the executive office of the governor to submit resignations. That includes staff from the governor's budget office, although DeSantis intends to keep the current budget team in place through the start of the next fiscal year on the first of July.

Some department heads had already submitted resignations or expressed plans to leave.

"As is standard practice for a gubernatorial transition, the governor-elect has requested resignations of personnel under the purview of the office of the governor," a DeSantis spokesman said in a statement. "As could be expected, those who have served our state under the leadership of Governor [Rick] Scott will have the opportunity to reapply for a position within the new administration and we look forward to the continued service of many of our state's dedicated professionals."

(Editor's note: This article previously stated incorrectly that Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen was among the agency heads asked to resign. FDLE is a cabinet agency.)

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