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Monday, January 04 2021

Former Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections Julie Jones has been appointed Deputy Chief Financial Officer within the Office of Chief Financial Officer, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services.

As Deputy CFO, Jones will be responsible for divisions encompassing sworn law enforcement, including Investigative and Forensic Services, Public Assistance Fraud and Workers’ Compensation, which all work to prosecute insurance fraud. Jones will replace Jay Etheridge who is retiring following his completion of the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP).

Jones, who was appointed by CFO Jimmy Patronis, most recently served as secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections from 2015 to 2019. During Jones’ tenure, the Department of Corrections added over 200 more correctional officer positions and worked to increase the agency’s budget to bolster safety and improve recidivism rates, DFS said. Prior to that role, Jones served as executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles from 2009 to 2014.

Additionally, from 2002 to 2009, then-Colonel Jones served as director of Law Enforcement of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Patronis said with increasing insurance rates resulting from fraud, he’s directed Jones to coordinate with all of DFS’ divisions to “crack down on fraud, waste and abuse.”

“Through her decades of executive-level leadership, coupled with her experience in law enforcement, we’ll need her out-of-the-box thinking, and her relationships with local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, to take the fight against the criminal elements that are stealing from hardworking Floridians,” Patronis said.

Patronis also praised the retiring Etheridge for his work with the department since 2012, including:

  • Creating the Division of Investigative and Forensic services to merge all law enforcement into one division
  • Leading the creation and implementation of the Investigative Strategy for the Division of Public Assistance Fraud.
  • Originating and leading the effort to obtain legislative funding for the establishment of the Florida Fire Fighter Grant Program, providing needed funding to support Florida’s volunteer fire departments.
  • Created Florida Disaster Assistance Strike Teams, combatting fraud against Floridians and insurance companies after a natural disaster.
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