Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hyde to Lead State Agency; Councilman to Run Management Services

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hyde to Lead State Agency; Councilman to Run Management Services

Article excerpt

Byline: J. TAYLOR RUSHING

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov.-elect Charlie Crist reached out to the Jacksonville City Council Monday to tap Kevin Hyde to head the state Department of Management Services, giving the former council president his first role in state government.

Hyde, 43, a partner at the Foley & Lardner law firm, was unveiled as the new secretary of the troubled agency that oversees the state's citizen services and business operations -- including human resources, purchasing, real estate and technology. The department has a budget of $658 million and 928 employees.

Hyde took the job without agreeing on a salary, as is custom with other Crist appointees. Current DMS Secretary Tom Lewis Jr. makes $128,049. Hyde gets an annual City Council salary of $44,579 plus his law firm salary.

Hyde said his resignation from his at-large council seat would likely be effective in early January.

Hyde said he met Crist about a year and a half ago during a campaign event in Jacksonville and privately supported his gubernatorial bid. He said he did not seek the position.

"It came from him," Hyde said at a news conference in Tallahassee. "If you'd have asked me about this three weeks ago, I would not have suspected that I would be here today."

Crist said he chose Hyde for his "leadership, management experience and integrity." Spokeswoman Erin Isaac elaborated that Hyde was a standout candidate because of his positions at the law firm and on the City Council. It is unclear if Crist interviewed any other candidates.

Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton said the city will likely benefit from the extra clout.

"Anytime you have a citizen like Kevin having the ear of the governor, it's very good for our region," Peyton said. …

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