Legislator with no higher education experience tapped to lead South Florida State College

State Rep. Fred Hawkins, R-St. Cloud, was selected Wednesday by South Florida State College trustees to succeed retiring school President Thomas Leitzel.

Hawkins served from 2008 to 2020 on the Osceola County Commission. But Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended him in July 2020 after Hawkins was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer. Hawkins went on to get elected to the House in November 2020.

During a special legislative session this year, Hawkins sponsored a high-profile bill that was a priority of DeSantis. The bill gave DeSantis authority to appoint the board of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, which also was renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.


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