DeSantis chooses former appellate judge to run Florida’s juvenile justice system

by | Jan 2, 2019

A former First District Court of Appeal judge and former Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation has been chosen to oversee the state’s juvenile justice system.

Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis announced Simone Marstiller’s appointment as secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice on Wednesday.

“Few people have the leadership experience and government expertise to match Simone Marstiller,” said DeSantis. “Simone is among the most talented and experienced professionals that our state has to offer and I am proud to have her join the Administration as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. She’s established an exceptional record of professional accomplishment and I look forward to working with her to further improve our state’s juvenile justice system.”

Marstiller has a long history of service in state government beginning in 2001 when she was selected Assistant General Counsel to Governor Jeb Bush. In 2002 she left to work as general counsel and later as interim secretary for the Department of Management Services, Marstiller returned to the Governor’s Office to serve as deputy chief of staff for Bush and later as the state’s chief information officer.

Former Attorney General Bill McCollum appointed her associate deputy attorney general in 2007. During her time there, she also served as the department’s general counsel

Three years later, while serving as the executive director of the Florida Elections Commission, Gov. Charlie Crist tabbed Marstiller to serve on the First District Court of Appeal. She served on the appeals court for six years.

Marstiller currently serves as counsel for Gunster, Yoakley, Stewart, P.A., where her practice areas include appellate consulting and litigation, government affairs, procurement, ethics and elections.

The 52-year-old Marstiller was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and grew up in St. Petersburg.  She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1988 from Stetson University and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 1996 from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida.


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