Interim DEP chief applies for secretary post

Ryan Matthews, who has served the past three months as interim secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, is seeking the job on a more-permanent basis.

In advance of a Friday application deadline, Matthews submitted a letter and resume seeking to become the department's secretary.

"We are in a unique position to continue moving Florida forward when it comes to environmental restoration, conservation and protection," Matthews wrote in the letter, dated Thursday, to Gov. Rick Scott. "I look forward to discussing my vision for the agency with you and the Cabinet, so we can focus on developing policies, securing funding and completing projects that directly benefit Florida's natural resources and local communities."

Matthews was one of 141 people who had applied for the job as of Friday afternoon.

Former Secretary Jon Steverson announced in January that he was leaving the post, and Scott and the Cabinet on Feb. 1 approved Matthews' appointment as interim secretary.

They also set an April 28 deadline for applications.

Unlike most agency heads who answer only to the governor, the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection falls under Scott and the Cabinet.