Gray Swoope, whose last day as Florida’s commerce secretary was Friday, will lead a new economic-development firm along with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Mississippi-based Butler Snow LLP on Monday announced that Swoope will serve as president and chief executive officer for the firm’s VisionFirst Advisors outfit, which will have a Tallahassee office. Swoope was executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority when recruited by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 to be Florida’s secretary of commerce and president of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development agency. Barbour, who served as Mississippi’s governor from 2004 to 2012, will be chairman of VisionFirst Advisors. Swoope has been replaced as Florida’s top business recruiter by former PortMiami director Bill Johnson. A proposal has been filed by Sen. Jack Latvala (SB 1214) to impose a two-year lobbying restriction on future Enterprise Florida presidents and make the position subject to Senate confirmation.
BILL WOULD BLOCK RELEASE OF EMAIL ADDRESSES
A Senate proposal filed Monday would prevent the release of motorists’ email addresses collected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The bill (SPB 7040), filed by the Senate Transportation Committee, would create a public-records exemption for email addresses collected by the department as it conducts business involving vehicle records and driver licenses. The bill said the use of motorists’ email addresses in conducting such business has “significantly increased since 1994” and pointed to concerns about issues such as identity theft. “Under current law, the electronic mail addresses collected by the department are public records and can be obtained by anyone for any purpose,” the bill says. “However, such electronic mail addresses are unique to the individual and, when combined with other personal identifying information, can be used for identity theft, consumer scams, unwanted solicitations, or other invasive contacts. The public availability of personal electronic mail addresses puts department customers at increased risk of these activities. This risk may be significantly limited by permitting the department to keep customer electronic mail addresses confidential.”
BROWARD JUDGE TO FACE FINE, SUSPENSION IN DUI CASE
A Broward County circuit judge charged with driving under the influence in 2013 could face discipline that includes a public reprimand, a $5,000 fine and suspension without pay for 20 days, according to documents filed Monday with the Florida Supreme Court. Judge Cynthia Imperato reached an agreement with an investigative panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, which recommended the disciplinary measures. The Supreme Court can accept or reject the agreement, known as a stipulation. Imperato was pulled over by a Boca Raton police officer on Nov. 5, 2013, after she was spotted driving eratically. She refused to get out of the car for a roadside sobriety test and later refused to submit a breath sample, according to the agreement. “Judge Imperato accepts full responsibility for the conduct … and is using this incident as an opportunity to ameliorate the effect of her actions,” the agreement said. “She has been in counseling for over a year, has not consumed alcohol, and in her appearance before the investigative panel of the commission admitted wrongdoing and expressed remorse.”