DeSantis, Cabinet eye new clemency coordinator

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Michelle Whitworth, who has been an investigator supervisor the past six years for the state Commission on Offender Review, will be the only applicant interviewed Tuesday to become clemency coordinator for Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the Florida Cabinet.

DeSantis and at least two members of the Cabinet -- made up of Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis -- must approve the coordinator, who has duties such as coordinating clemency meetings, referring applications for investigation and serving as a custodian of clemency records.

The state advertised the position as paying between $35,518 and $64,500 a year.

Whitworth is paid $58,065 in her current position.

At a meeting of Cabinet aides last week, Whitworth was the only candidate put forward by each office to replace longtime coordinator Julie McCall, who has retired.

Whitworth has been with the Commission on Offender Review since 2006, serving initially as an investigator and from 2007 to 2013 as a capital-punishment research specialist. A criminology and criminal-justice major who attended Florida State University, Whitworth served as a probation officer, management review specialist and senior classification officer with the Department of Corrections before moving to the Commission on Offender Review.