Ex-regulator Edgar exits state parks job
Former utility regulator cites 'immediate family emergency'
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Former utility regulator Lisa Edgar has left her position as director of the Florida Park Service two months after being appointed to the job.
In an email sent Thursday night, Edgar advised Gary Clark, the Department of Environmental Protection's deputy secretary for land and recreation, she was resigning from the $115,000-a-year position as "an immediate family emergency requires my full attention."
No further details were provided, and no replacement has been named.
Day-to-day activities are being split between two assistant directors of the Park Service, a Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman said in an email Saturday.
Edgar was appointed to the parks position after more than a decade as a member of the Florida Public Service Commission. She left the utility-regulatory panel at the end of last year and started at the Department of Environmental Protection in mid-January, a month after being appointed to the post that oversees more than 1,000 park-service workers and 29,000 volunteers. Florida has 174 state parks, trails and historic sites.
Before joining the Public Service Commission, Edgar was a deputy secretary at the Department of Environmental Protection, where she worked from 1999 to early 2005. When appointed to the parks position, Edgar was quoted in a release as calling it an honor to return to the state agency.
"From my time at DEP and as a frequent visitor of our state parks, I've seen first-hand the high caliber of the Florida Park Service team," Edgar said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to working with this team to continue to achieve the Florida state parks mission to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources."
She repeated in her email Thursday to Clark that "it has been an honor."
In the parks position, Edgar replaced Donald Forgione, who was reassigned to Paynes Prairie State Park outside of Gainesville after nearly six years as director of the system.
In September, Gov. Rick Scott appointed Pinellas County engineer Donald Polmann to replace Edgar on the Public Service Commission.
Edgar was first appointed to the regulatory panel by former Gov. Jeb Bush and began that job in January 2005. She was later reappointed by former Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott.
Last year, in announcing she would not apply for a fourth term, Edgar said in a statement she intended to use her "regulatory and governmental experience as I pursue new endeavors and other career opportunities."
News Service of Florida