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Fla emergency chief to resign

The Buzz is, interim state emergency management director Ruben Almaguer will resign his post later today, marking the first announced departure of 2010 from the Gov. Charlie Crist administration. (Dale Brill, head of the Tourism, Trade and Economic Development, announced last month that he's heading to the Florida Chamber Foundation, starting today.)

The governor's office confirmed to the Times/Herald that Almaguer will resign, but the reason for his leaving is unclear and he has not yet submitted an official resignation letter. A source says Almaguer was told to resign amid allegations -- not yet substantiated -- of misconduct and improper spending.

Almaguer has been interim director since May, when Crist moved him up from the No. 2 deputy director spot to fill in for longtime emergency management leader Craig Fugate, a Jeb Bush appointee who now serves as head of FEMA under President Obama.

“Ruben has been a strong team member within Florida’s emergency response team for more than two years,” Governor Crist said.  “His vast experience responding to both domestic and international disasters qualifies him to step into the leadership position.”


No word yet on who will fill in for Almaguer, a former high-ranking county emergency management official in Miami-Dade. The deputy director for emergency management under Almaguer is now David Halstead. Six months to go until the 2010 hurricane season...

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