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Movers and Shakers: Cannon, Rubio bring in new staffers

Shuffles in the Speaker's office

Two departures in House Speaker Dean Cannon's office have set off a wave of reassignments and new hires. It started in January when Todd Reid, once Cannon's deputy chief of staff, took a new job as Sen. Marco Rubio's state director. Cannon promoted Kirk Pepper, formerly his director of external affairs, to fill Reid's spot. He also picked Ben Stuart, an attorney in the House economic affairs committee, to move to the Speaker's office as a process coordinator.

Longtime House staffer Melanie Phister left to work for John Johnson, a Tampa lobbyist, to be closer to family. Cannon special assistant Hannah Causseaux will take Phister's old position in the Office of Public Information as a program manager tasked with handling records and appointments. Filling her shoes as Cannon's scheduler is Carlecia Collins, formerly an RPOF staffer.

Former APD director gets new job as lobbyist

Jim DeBeaugrine joined SCG Governmental Affairs as a senior associate today after being replaced as director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. He will be in charge of the firm's expansion into criminal justice and health care fields. Gov. Rick Scott replaced DeBeaugrine, who had been APD's executive director more than two years, with Carl Littlefield, who resigned last week ahead of a Senate committee planning to question him about sexual abuse allegations at a Hillsborough County group home he oversaw.

Rubio fills legislative staff

Rubio picked several legislative staffers last week. Here's the recap: Brian W. Walsh will be deputy legislative director and national security adviser. There are several new legislative assistants for committees: Darren Achord, Commerce; Victor Cervino, Foreign Relations, Sara Decker, Agriculture, Energy and Environment; J. R. Sanchez, Education, Labor, Values and Veterans; and Jonathan Slemrod, Budget and Taxes.

Policy leaders join lobbying firm

The Fiorentino Group has added Allison DeFoor and Colleen Castille to its government relations and biz development firm in Tallahassee. DeFoor is former vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Monroe County sheriff and circuit court judge, and Jeb Bush's Everglades czar, as well the 1990 Republican nominee for lt. governor. Castille is the former secretary of Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Community Affairs under Bush. They will be principals at the firm.

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