Florida’s Insurance Department makes staff changes

Feb 7, 2011

The following article was published in The Current on February 7, 2011:

Florida’s Insurance Department makes staff changes

There have been some staff changes at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Long standing OIR employee Belinda Miller — who was the Deputy Insurance Commissioner of Property and Casualty — is now serving as acting general counsel. The position was vacated by Steve Parton.

Robin Westcott now is acting Deputy Commissioner of Property and Casualty. Before being named acting deputy commissioner, Westcott was the director of property and casualty financial oversight for the OIR.

The changes appear on a new OIR organizational chart which was recently posted to the OIR’s website.

One outstanding change that remains unclear, however, is the fate of Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. McCarty reports to the governor and Cabinet, but by virtue of state law there needs to be an agreement between Gov. Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater on any changes to the post of commissioner.

McCarty, who was first hired under then-Gov. Jeb Bush, never came up for a second confirmation vote while Gov. Charlie Crist was in office. This was because Crist and then-CFO Alex Sink disagreed on whether he should be retained.

When asked about it last week, Atwater maintained that he was still focusing on final hires in his own staff. He said he had not yet made a decision on whether McCarty should be retained. A spokesman for Scott said that no decision has been made as well.