TALLAHASSEE -- At 5 a.m. every Monday, Bill Bankhead climbs into his Toyota Camry at his Ponte Vedra Beach home, pops a book-on-tape into his tape deck and sets out for the state capital.
Every Friday, sometime after 7 p.m., he heads back.
Since Gov. Jeb Bush named him secretary of the Juvenile Justice Department in January, Bankhead has been getting to know Interstate 10 even better than he did in his 20 years as a state legislator.
"I've listened to a lot of books," he allows.
Bankhead, 58, was one of the Legislature's experts on juvenile and social service issues during his long tenure.
When he took his new job, his family remained behind to allow his 17-year-old daughter Brooke, to finish her senior year at Allen D. Nease High School in northern St. Johns County. When she graduates, Bankhead said, they will re-evaluate whether to stay in Ponte Vedra Beach.
His efforts to bring more accountability to the department have attracted the attention of Bush, who singled him out recently in talking about how state agencies are trying to do a better job of evaluating programs and eliminating those that do not work.
Bankhead, who worked in …