Gov. Rick Scott ordered flags at half-staff on Saturday for George Sheldon, a longtime children’s advocate and former state official who died last month.
Scott directed the U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, City Hall in Miami, City Hall in Plant City, and at the Capitol in Tallahassee from sunrise to sunset on Sept. 8.
Sheldon, 71, most recently had been head of the Our Kids nonprofit that provides child services in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
Before that, he was director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services, and was acting assistant secretary in 2011-13 for the federal Administration for Children and Families under President Barack Obama.
Gov. Charlie Crist selected him to be Secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families in 2008-11.
Over a long career, Sheldon also served in the state House, was an aide to then-state Sen. Reubin Askew, and was a deputy to Attorney General Bob Butterworth.
He represented House District 69, which covered parts of Pinellas County from 1974 to 1982.
His work was not without controversy. In Illinois, he faced ethics investigations and scrutiny over contracts he had granted to past campaign donors and consultants before resigning in mid-2017.
“This is all part of being in the public eye,” Sheldon told Florida Politics last year.
Keith Ward, chairman of the Our Kids board of trustees, sent out a memo Aug. 6 that said Sheldon had sustained a neck injury while exercising and had surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. The memo indicated the surgery had been successful.
Background provided by The News Service of Florida, republished with permission.