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Division of Emergency Management’

Scott makes first agency head hires

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Gov.-elect Rick Scott has hired Indiana Corrections Commissioner Edwin G. Buss as Florida’s corrections secretary and Wal-Mart executive Bryan W. Koon to head the state’s emergency management division.

The pair – both former military men – are the first Scott has named to head his executive agencies before taking office on Jan. 4.

Here’s what Scott had to say about Buss in a press release issued late this afternoon:
Buss brings to Florida nearly twenty-four years of hands-on experience in corrections, emergency response, public safety, supervision and budgeting. As Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Corrections and a key member of Governor Mitch Daniels’ cabinet, Buss was responsible for over 7,500 employees, 26,000 inmates, 10,000 parolees throughout the state’s corrections facilities. Prior to serving as Commissioner, Buss served as Superintendent of two Indiana prisons where he refined Death Row and execution procedures, implemented accountability metrics and implemented a safe prison initiative. Throughout his career, Buss has been successful in implementing innovative policies that improve operations while reducing wasteful spending.

And here’s Koon’s biography from the press release announcing his appointment:
Koon brings to Florida nearly twenty years’ experience managing tactical and strategic emergencies in the military, government and private sector. In his current role as Director of Emergency Management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Koon is responsible for the emergency management operations of over 8,500 facilities worldwide. He is an acknowledged expert in the fields of emergency preparedness, disaster response, continuity of operations and continuity of government. Koon’s broad and varied experience includes several years in the White House Military Office where he developed, maintained and implemented high level, classified programs to ensure continuity of government and continuity of operations in the wake of a tactical or natural disaster. He also served the nation with distinction as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, both active duty and in the Navy Reserve.

Aronberg questions Florida’s disaster readiness

Monday, January 11th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Sen. Dave Aronberg is questioning the state’s emergency readiness given the recent ouster of emergency management chief Ruben Almaguer.

Senate Military Affairs and Domestic Security Committee Chairman Aronberg, D-Greenacres, sent Almaguer’s replacement David Halstead a bevy of questions this morning about Florida’s ability to respond to a terrorist threat like the recently thwarted Christmas Day bomber airplane attack in Michigan.

Gov. Charlie Crist forced Almaguer to resign from his position as interim director of the Division of Emergency Management last week amid accusations of nepotism, misspending and sexism.

Almaguer, brought in as deputy chief to former DEM head Craig Fugate by Gov. Jeb Bush, last Monday refused to step down then resigned after meeting with Crist’s chief of staff Shane Strum and deputy chief Kathy Mears.

Almaguer says he was forced out by his replacement, Halstead, and that he has a “clean conscience.”

Crist refused to look into Almaguer’s alleged wrongdoing despite a plea from the ousted department official for an investigation.

Among the questions Aronberg wants answered:

Who’s responsible for audits of the division, which is located under the Department of Community Affairs?

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