Mike Crews was officially named secretary for the Department of Corrections by Gov. Rick Scott on Monday.
Crews, who had been the deputy secretary, takes over for Ken Tucker whose long-planned retirement becomes official at the end of the year.
Throughout Michaels impressive career, he has demonstrated an excellent understanding of law enforcement and a willingness to serve the citizens of Florida, Scott stated in a release.
I am confident Michael will lead the Department of Corrections with integrity, leadership, and with an understanding of our ultimate goal to keep Floridians safe.
Crews comes in as the state is appealing the ruling by a Leon County Circuit Court judge that threw out an effort to use a budgetary committee to privatize prison health care services.Crews had announced earlier this month the state would appeal.
Crews, who began his career with the department in 1986 as a probation and parole officer, has been deputy secretary since 2011.
Tucker sent out a farewell video to employees last month in which he expressed regret and remorse after a difficult year at a struggling agency.
"I wish I could have stretched the numbers from being the sixth secretary in seven years, and hopefully whoever replaces me will be someone with alonger tenure in this position that can lead you to be the agency ... I know that you can be," Tucker said in the video.
He would add that he appreciated their work during a time when legislators fought with correctional officers' unions over health care benefits and plans to privatize a number of South Florida facilities.
Having replaced Edwin Buss in 2011, Tuckers tenure was expected to be short as he had planned to enter the states deferred retirement option program, DROP, in March 2013.
I am thankful for Secretary Tuckers service. He humbly served our state for more than 25 years and his commitment and leadership will be missed, Scott stated in Mondays release.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.