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Haridopolos hires ousted PSC chairman to head his energy committee

Contining his remake of the Senate staff, Sen. Mike Haridopolos, the Senate's designated incoming president, has hired former Public Service Commission chairman Matt Carter to be staff director of the Senate Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee and gave him double-duty as staff director of the Military Affairs and Domestic Security Committees.

Carter was not reappointed to a four-year term last fall, after Gov. Charlie Crist concluded that the agency had become too close to the utilities it regulated. Under Carter's term, the agency staff was found to have exchanged Blackberry text and PIN messages with utility lobbyists and Carter was forced to suspend his aide with pay. He replaces Diana Caldwellas staff director of the energy committee, whom Haridopolos let go last week. Haridopolos, along with his chief of staff Steve MacNamara, are shaking up the Senate in an effort to prevent staff from straying too far from his reservation. Another change: requiring Tom Yeatman, staff director of the Senate Community Affairs Committee to also assume the duties of staff Director of Environmental Preservation and Conservation.

Haridopolos has also hired David Bishop to be his communications director. Bishop formerly worked as a communications director for Lt. Gov Jeff Kottkamp and lobbied withTallahassee lobbyist Steve Uhlfelder. 

Here's the text of Haridopolos' email to members:


Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 11:48


Subject: Update: More changes

   Fellow Members, This email is to provide you
with this week’s update regarding personnel changes I am making during
this transition period.  Today I am announcing two new staff
appointments and a consolidation of two staff director positions.
These moves, coupled with the consolidation of the Chief of Staff
position and the General Counsel job I announced last week, will
result in savings of $395,676. First, I’m pleased to announce that
veteran communicator David Bishop will join my team in the Senate
President’s office as both the Director of Communications and Director
of Information Technology.  Many of you already know David.  He brings
a wealth of experience to the job. David has served in similar
positions in the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development,
Department of Community Affairs, Secretary of State and in the Senate
Majority Office under then-President Toni Jennings.  He also has
extensive private sector experience having served as a media relations
director for Zurich Financial Service’s North American operations.
Most recently he served as communications director for Lt. Governor
Jeff Kottkamp’s campaign for Attorney General. In addition to his
communications duties, David will oversee the Senate’s information
technology services. He has extensive knowledge of IT and
communicating through new media.

Second, I am pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Matthew Carter who will serve as both Staff Director
of Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities as well as the Staff
Director of Military Affairs and Domestic Security Committees.  As
many of you know he has extensive experience in the military,
business, law and government.  Matthew served in the Presidential
Honor Guard in Washington, D.C. and the First Armored Division in
Germany.  After graduation from Florida State University with a
Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications, he was commissioned
as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve and later the
Florida National Guard.  He served a tour of duty with the 124th
Infantry of the Florida National Guard in the Panama Canal Zone.
Matthew’s prior state government management service has been in both
the executive and legislative branches of government.  He served in
several agencies in the Executive Branch of Florida Government from
1992 to 2001.  While at the Department of Insurance, he served as
Special Consultant for the Commissioner investigating church arsons in
the State of Florida.  His other prior state government senior
management service was in the Legislative Branch 2001 to 2005.  As
Senior Staff Director for the House Committee on Veterans & Military
Affairs, he worked during the Military Base Re-Alignment Closure
Commission.  He later served a four-year term on the Florida Public
Service Commission (two years as Chairman) from 2006 through 2009.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank Don Pardue who stepped in
as interim-Staff Director of Military Affairs and Domestic Security
when Susan Skelton was moved to the Rules Committee.  All of us
appreciate the work Don did as it related to the oil spill disaster,
keeping us up-to-date and informed throughout the catastrophe.  Don
will stay with us, assisting Dr. Carter with his new duties.

 Finally,I am asking 25 year veteran Tom Yeatman to assume the duties of Staff
Director of Environmental Preservation and Conservation along with his
current obligations as Staff Director of Community Affairs.  For those of you not familiar with Tom, he has served as the Staff Director for the Committee on Community Affairs since 1994 and is well- versed in
the laws and environmental programs that protect our air, water and
land.  Tom has helped members of the Florida Senate develop and
shepherd through the legislative process major reforms to growth
management, property tax, water supply and environmental permitting.
Many of the legislative proposals that are initiated in the
Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee are also
referred to the Community Affairs Committee because of their impact on
the state’s growth management laws.  Tom is excited about the new
position and looks forward to working with members of the respective
committees. Tom holds three Bachelor’s degrees in History, Government
and International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Public
Administration from Florida State  University. 

These three people will assume their duties beginning today.  I know all of you, as well
as your staffs, will do whatever you can to assist them as they begin,
and continue, their work to serve the citizens of the great State of
Florida. Please enjoy a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!