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Scott adds five more high-level staffers

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday named five new high-level staffers -- one of whom is a Charlie Crist holdover and one who was once fired by former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. The appointments were first disclosed on Scott's Facebook page.

Scott has decided to keep Melinda Miguel, who was Crist's chief inspector general and held the same post under Crist when he was attorney general.  The new governor has hired Doug Darling as a deputy chief of staff and chief Cabinet aide. Darling, a former lieutenant colonel in the Marines, serves as inspector general in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and was a chief of staff there. The official announcement did not mention that Darling was fired as Sink's director of the Division of Accounting and Auditing in 2008 following the disclosure of a scheme (never carried out) to defraud the state of billions of dollars.

Also joining Scott's legal team are Jesse Panuccio and C.B. Upton. Panuccio was an associate at Cooper & Kirk, and Upton was general counsel for the Department of State.

The fifth new hire joins Scott's press shop: Brian Hughes will be deputy communications director. Hughes, a decorated Air Force combat veteran of the Gulf War, most recently handled communications for Jeff Atwater's successful campaign for CFO. 

 -- Steve Bousquet

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